On the eve of our last baby's birth date, I was nervous. I was being induced the next morning on the two-week after his due-date day. That's right. I carried my last two babies both two weeks late. The difference in this one was that I had ALWAYS gone into labor on my own. My contractions had started, I had labored, progressed and had the babies when they were good and ready. This time, I was 42 weeks pregnant and there were no signs of contractions started. After praying and consulting with my doctor, we decided I would be induced to prevent any drops in amniotic fluid or any other disturbances at that point.
I didn't want to be induced. I wanted things to go my way. I wanted to make the plan. And then God.
I woke up on the morning of this scheduled inducement and I felt God whisper over me "I have a plan and it's better than yours". This still gives me chills to think about it.
We showed up at the hospital on a sunny Monday morning. It wasn't busy. The doctor was in and ready for us. I had a baby by 6:00 that evening. We got the corner suite since they were low on patients that evening and one of my clients happened to be the one in charge of the nurses and rooms. Plus we were family friends with our baby nurse who happened to be working that night so she took great care of us! We had a beautiful view that overlooked the city and I could see the sunshine and the green grass. I felt God's peace, his beauty and I recognized His perfect plan.
In all things, I try to remember that God's plan is best. Even though I want to fight it. Even though I want things to be faster, for troubles not to come, for my way to be the right way. All along He is whispering, "I have a plan and it's better than yours".
Maybe the someday I have been longing for is meant to be fully lived today.
Maybe God uses these little moments to teach us grace along the way.
Maybe the tasks of motherhood are extraordinary after all.
Maybe the mission of motherhood is part of our Heavenly call.
Our Pastor shared a message this morning about embracing the hard times in “the middle”. The middle is not always glamorous, it’s actually usually messy. We don’t want people to see our “middle” moments. And so I am inspired to share one of mine. I’ve called it: ❤️ When I lose ❤️ When I lose, I feel defeated. Because me, I like to win.
When I lose, I feel insecure, that sinking feeling washes over me again.
When I lose, I feel like giving up, like there is no need trying again.
The truth is, when I lose, that is truly when I win.
Losing teaches us more than winning ever can.
It teaches us to rise above and how to make a future plan.
Losing teaches us to prepare, work hard and grow thick skin.
So that when we try again, we can face the next challenge with a grin.
Losing teaches us to smile through the tears and let the anger go.
Losing is the best way to help us really grow.
Losing is never fun, of this I can be sure.
But, in myself, it creates in me a resilience in becoming secure.
Losing hurts and it may be painful for a while.
But in retrospect, I am happy to say it has come to make me smile.
When I lose, I learn. I improve and I pray a ton.
I think back to the days of defeat and that is where I won. ******************************************************************
I’ve had a natural birth. I’ve had an epidural.
I’ve breastfeed extensively. I’ve pumped exclusively.
I’ve made my own baby food. I’ve let my baby eat french fries.
I’ve cloth diapered. I’ve used thousands of disposal diapers.
I’ve made my kids home-cooked breakfast meals. I’ve given my kids processed foods that come in bags for breakfast as we race out the door.
I’ve arranged full days of playtime and outside fun. I’ve let my kids watch way too much tv.
I’ve blended my kids into my business flawlessly. I’ve locked my kids in the house to escape the craziness while I run on the front porch to talk to a client on the phone for a few minutes.
I’ve laughed while my kids get muddy and play. I’ve gotten frustrated at my kids for spilling their milk.
I’ve succeeded. I’ve messed up. I’ve triumphed. I’ve failed. Through it all, God uses my weaknesses for His glory.
Be authentic. Perfectionism is overrated.
When we hear “I am not, I cannot and I do not...God says “You are, you can and you will.”
I changed all the things I get frustrated with about myself and turned them into positives...🙌
Because I am not a perfectionist, I can multi-task really well and get a lot accomplished. Sometimes I wish I were more into the details, but I’m just not. I’m into getting things done!
Because my make-up is not always on-point and my hair is not flawless, I can get ready pretty quickly and conquer each day. It is the imperfections that make us real.
Because my daily diet isn’t always super clean, I can enjoy my favorite foods without feeling guilty. Hey y’all, life is meant to be enjoyed!
Because I am not reserved, I can make friends very easily. I can also connect people and make them feel loved and welcome. Everyone needs to feel needed!
Because I am not afraid, I can be strong.
Because I am not enough, God becomes enough and works through me. His power is made perfect through my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) ❤️
Because I am not the perfect mom, I am the perfect mom for my kids. 😍
After all, we are all just a work in progress. 🙌
#Fridayinspiration #inspire#encourage #lead
We did it. We spent a week in Disney with 4 kids and came back sane. Let me tell you why this is such an accomplishment.
We made the trip to Disney two years ago, back when we only had 3 kids. It was a nightmare. My husband actually compared it to the place where Satan lives, but I won't use that word here. It was hot, crowded and honestly, nobody was having any fun.
This time around, I was determined to make this adventure enjoyable. These tips are SUPER practical, nothing magical and just helpful. We actually had fun with time by following these tips. Here are the ways:
1) PLAN everything possible ahead of time. Lay out your week- plan each day and what you want to accomplish. Which park do you want to visit? Do you want some down time to just swim at the pool? What restaurants would you like to try? The great thing about Disney is you can plan all of this through their App ahead of time! *If you know a Disney Travel Agent, use them. They are free to use and they can help make your stay so much more enjoyable.
2) Don't try to DO IT ALL. Just don't. You and your kids will be exhausted and you will be miserable. Choose a few things to do each day and then spend the rest of the time enjoying yourself. For us, we ONLY rode the rides in which we had Fast Passes for and you get 3 per day. Schedule those ahead of time at the park you want to experience and plan everything else around those.
3) Pack your own snacks, water bottles and items. Seriously, Disney sells everything you could possibly need but you will go broke if you try to buy everything there. I packed all of our own snacks this time in Ziploc baggies and threw a few in our backpacks at the beginning of each day. When your kids need a little snack, just pull it out of the bag and BOOM, problem solved. Also, pack some rain ponchos, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. There is no way around it, IT IS HOT. Just be as prepared as you can be. On that note, for the love of all, DO NOT try to fix your hair or dress cute. Bring ball caps, pony tail holders and comfy clothes and shoes. You'll be glad you did. Your hair will not stay put in that humidity anyway, sister.
4) Take help, if you can. We took my in-laws with us this time. It was so helpful and the kids just loved it. They were able to spend some quality time with their grandparents and you have an extra set (or two) of eyes at all times!
5) Go into this trip with the right mindset. One thing my husband and I realized was that Disney is not a vacation. It's just not. Realize that this is a family "trip", an adventure, a way to make memories. It's not relaxing. It is what it is. Enjoy yourself but stay focused on what the trip is about.
6) Things WORTH purchasing at Disney:
A) The Memory Maker was totally worth it for me. They take your photos for you and you just scan your wristband. These photos go automatically to your phone. Bonus- You don't have to pull your phone out all the time. It can stayed tucked away in your bag while you make memories. Woo hoo!
B) A nice meal per day is also something we invested in. We usually reserved these for evening time. We were able to take a shower, put on some nicer clothes and try new foods each night. Remember to book these ahead of time!
C) One souvenir per child. This was something we really need to stick with. As you know, kids are relentless and want to buy everything. We let each one choose one thing to buy. By doing this, they each got something they really wanted and they treasured it.
By doing all these things this time, we were able to actually enjoy our trip. I hope you do too!
Ladies, here's the deal. We have to quit making excuses. Excuses are the biggest deterrent to our success. I see it so often. A woman comes to me and tells me she wants to be successful, have a great career, be a high producer, etc. But when I ask her about her daily habits and structure, she has none. And then there come the excuses of why she hasn't done the things she wants to do. All I hear is excuses. Some of them are logical and even accurate, but none of them are unattainable.
Whether it's school drop off lines, laundry, lack of time or anything else, anything can be overcome with a little planning and a strong desire to succeed.
I think it's important that we plan our days before the happen. Plan our weeks before they come. Have a plan. That doesn't mean you're plan will play out perfectly, but at least you will have an end goal in mind. Be the successful woman you see yourself as in 5 years. That starts today.
Work Like A "Mom Boss"
My kids are still little which means most of my time is spent with them by my side. I only have two and a half days to work, run errands and get everything done that I need to accomplish. That's when they are in their scheduled Mother's Day Out program. It's been this way for 5 years while I've built my business. It's been trying, tough and yet, very rewarding. My kids have seen me work hard and I've gotten to spend most of my time with them. That doesn't mean I'm not taking phone calls and answering phone calls during the day when I'm with them. That's just part of the job. But they also get to spend most of their time with their Momma while also gaining valuable social skills at their school program.
While being full-time Mom, I've managed to climb to the top of my company, becoming the Top 2% of Agents in my Network. I don't say this to bring attention to me. I say this to tell you that it is attainable to reach our goals while our kids are at home.
It's Not All About Work
It's not just about work. I also manage to keep a keep a clean home and cook dinner every evening. Those things are important to me. I try to go to the gym twice a week. That's not a lot but in this season of life, it's do-able. I found a gym that provides childcare and it's so worth it to me to have time to dedicate to my health! Momma needs to feel good too! If you want to start going to the gym, join the gym. Put the dates on your calendar when you will go. And for Pete's sake, don't cancel on yourself.
There are things I want to get better at doing. Sometimes I catch myself making excuses for why I cannot do things. It's in our DNA to find reasons to make ourselves feel better for our failings. And we don't have to be perfect at everything. I'm definitely a work in progress in many areas. But don't cheat yourself by making excuses.
Just Do It
I'm a very "get it done" type of person. I'm not a perfectionist. That's definitely a downfall of mine. It drives my husband crazy. I can often be found with a tag still hanging off my new dress because I didn't notice it or with my bra strap twisted because I didn't bother to worry about it. I used to drive my mom crazy with these things too. I just naturally don't sweat the small stuff. But, hey, because of this, I can get a lot done and can accomplish a lot in a short time. When it comes to getting things done, I always say "just do it". You don't have to know why, or even necessarily how, but just know that you must start somewhere. You must take the first step. Don't worry about things being perfect, worry about never making the choice to step out in faith.
You've heard it said before, the struggle is real. One thing I have learned being a mom of many littles, is that you cannot sweat the small stuff. When you let the little things get you down, it's hard to feel optimistic. What I mean is this- If you kids want to play in the dirt, let them. They can wash hands and take a bath later. Let them play, get dirty and enjoy the outdoors! If their socks don't match from time to time, that's okay! It doesn't mean you're a bad Momma. It means you are juggling a lot and mis-matched socks really aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things!
My daughter likes to pick out her own clothes. She is a typical, head strong, first-born. She is a lot like me in that regard. At first, I was embarrassed because she would come out wearing crazy leopard tights, a flower dress and her pink princess heels with a random hair bow. Would people judge me for allowing this? And then, I learned the magic of picking my battles. Instead of feeling stressed, worried about others approval, or just frustrated, I chose to laugh and take a picture of her courageous clothing choices! She was proud of herself for choosing her outfit, it took something off my plate by not having to get her dressed, and I know that 20 years from now, we will all look back laughing! I even post a picture on social media from time to time. My friends get a kick out of her fun clothing choices and it makes me feel good to know that other parents face the same battle with their kiddos!
It's okay to be transparent, not always show the highlight reel and just be real sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love it when my kids all smile at the camera, in their matching, clean outfits. But most of the time, one of the boys has a big bruise or scratch on their head, someone has made a mess on their shirt and one of them just refuses to look at the camera! It's really okay, Mommas! Once again, we will look back on this time as a time we cherished. Come on, you know the best Santa pictures are the ones where the child is screaming and terrified at the sight of the man in the red suit! I know those are my favorites. It's time we embraced the imperfection, let the little things go and focused on the things that matter.
So what really matters? I think that's different for everyone!
1. For me, it matters that my kids are grounded in Faith and that we feel close to God as family. I want my kids to see our faith lived out daily through our actions and the fruit we bear. I want them to see us going to church weekly and getting involved with our church family.
2. I want to have a nice, clean and comfortable home that makes my family and our guests feel welcome.
3. I want to prepare good meals that leave us full and content and are yummy and unique each evening! (Breakfast may only consist of yogurt or a granola bar but you have to pick what's most important for you!)
3. I want my career to one of positivity, intentionally and purpose. I want to help my clients, lead them and represent them well, giving them the best service possible!
4. I want to be a woman who loves her husband, her kids, and leads my team, my friends and all those that God places in my path, to the best of my ability, with his love and grace.
What matters to you? I bet it's not making sure your kiddos always look perfect or never get dirty. I bet it's much bigger than that. When we focus on the big picture, what really matters? I challenge you to write down what matters to you!
Our message at church this morning was "woah". To be honest, I feel this way on most weeks. But, I really loved this particular Sunday and it hit home for me in many areas. The pastor, Josh Cossey, titled the sermon "I See An Almond Tree" and preached from Jeremiah 1:1-12. Here are the key takeaways:
1) You're Not Too Young OR Too Old To Hear God's Voice.
2) God says "I Know You".
3) Stop Making Excuses.
4) Don't Be Afraid- Because You'll Have Plenty of Reasons To Be.
Being young (or old) should never stop us from being ready to follow God's calling in our lives. Many of the characters in the Bible were young when God called them to follow Him. His disciples, James and John were teenagers, King David was a teen, the Mother of Jesus was even a youngster herself. Do you think that mattered to God? No Way. In contrast, Abraham and Sarah were old when God finally fulfilled His promise to them and gave them a son, Issac. They were well past child-bearing years, but God didn't care. One thing that's common for God to do throughout scripture is to shock people! Like seriously, he chose the most unlikely people to fulfill his promises. This showcased his strength and goodness all the more!
When God told Jeremiah "I know you", He was really saying "I knew you before you were born, I created you, I know every situation you will face in life before it happens". With God, every person has a "God purpose". He knows every person because he created them, even this little baby growing in my womb who has not yet been born. He's a boy and God has a calling on his life! This makes me happy and hopeful!
Stop making excuses. If you know me well, you know this is my biggest pet peeve. I loathe excuses. I cannot handle it. Apparently, God doesn't like them either. When Jeremiah tried to tell Hod " I'm not ready, I can't do it, I can't speak well, I'm too young", God cut him off He said "Go where I send you. Do what I command you." How can you say no to God when he speaks to you in that way? Wow! There are so many opportunities in life where we can say "YES" and take a step in faith or we can shy away and give God excuses. Stop it. Stop it NOW. God has equipped you, He has called you and He will help you.
Don't be afraid. The truth is, there are plenty of reasons to be afraid. There are plenty of things that will happen to us in life that are just plain scary. But, when God is for us, who can stand against us? Spoiler alert- No one.
You're An Almond Tree. God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree. Sounds odd, right? Wait until you hear what an almond tree symbolizes. An almond tree is known as the "waking tree". It blooms earlier than the other trees. It's a symbol of Go'd early execution of His promise. The point of the story? Although Jeremiah was young, God equipped him to handle the task at hand. He will equip you too. You need only to trust Him, listen to His voice and step out in faith.
I hope this story inspires you as much as it did me! Be an almond tree.
Yesterday was a doozee. Beginning at 7:00 when I awoke, the day felt a little chaotic. I went about the usual routine of getting the kids dressed for their Friday half-day at MDO. They ate a quick breakfast consisting of applesauce squeeze packets (please, don't judge) and we were out the door!
I started my car even though I didn't see my keys. I have a remote start so as long as my keys are nearby, the car will start. We drove to their school, I killed the car and took them inside. When I came back out and tried to start the car, it said "no remote detected". That's strange, I thought. Where could the key be? It then hit me! It was in the side of the diaper bag! Which was in my laundry room...at home! I was stranded. I had a home inspection in 10 minutes down the road, a closing in an hour and I had to be back to pick the kids up at noon! "Who can I call?" I started calling friends who live nearby but everyone I could think of was already out of town for the day! My husband was a good 30 minutes away at work. I looked up an Uber and the closest one was 20 minutes away. Not only did I need someone to drive me to my house to find my keys, but needed to get back to my car, plus stop by my home inspection on the way to let the inspector in! Ahh...time was ticking!
My friend Tiffany called me back and thankfully, she was close by! Woo hoo! She picked me up, we stopped by the house to let the inspector in on the way. As soon as I opened the door, the alarm started blaring! I've been to this house three times and the alarm system has never been on before. I called the listing agent, who was mad because he had the inspection time wrong on his calendar. The alarm was still blaring and the sheriff was on his way! Holy cow! We finally got the alarm shut off. One step accomplished.
Tiffany then drove me to my house to retrieve my keys. We pull in the driveway and lo and behold, the gate to the goats is wide open! "I don't have time to corral goats right now", I exclaimed! We both had a good laugh at that. Thank the Lord, the goats were still inside grazing, oblivious to the fact they could have escaped! Not that I minded if they roamed around the property, it's completely fenced and safe, but I just knew they would eat my newly planted flowers and mums in the flowerbed. That would have made this Goat Momma more than a little ticked off!
The keys were right where I left them, in the side of my diaper bag in the laundry room! My car started initially because it was close enough to pick up the sensor. How it ran the whole way (15 minutes) without a key inside is still puzzling to me! There were no alarms going off, no warnings. Yikes!
We made it back to my car, it started right up with the keys inside! I thanked Tiffany once again and started about my day! My team member, Cori, attended the home inspection for me while I went to the closing in Edmond. We had both wrapped up before noon and I picked the kids back up promptly. What a crazy few hours!
Sometimes, the Lord uses stressful situations to teach us something. For me, I have to get a good occasional reminder that I am not in control! I like to plan, I like to be in control of my life, my happenings and all the outcomes. Usually, I can control my days, but sometimes, I have no control. The good news is, God is always in control. He directs our paths and His will is perfect. The point of the story- we cannot always control our circumstances, but we can control our attitude. I could have gotten upset yesterday, broken down and cried even. But what good would that do? I had to find a solution and I had to keep my attitude in check. I am thankful for good friends for their help and for the Lord's provision throughout the day.
However frustrating, the day was a learning experience. Never drive off without visibly seeing the keys in your car (if you have a remote start). And remember that God is always in control, on the good days and the bad.