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Finding True Love in Yourself

by Sheila on March 4, 2013
category: Healthy Mom,Inspiration,Practical Tips

As women, it seems rather easy to exhibit moments of self-control, self-indulgence, self-motivation, or self-loathing. Yet, how often do we focus on achieving self-love?

If you were a young girl who grew up with an absent father, either physically or emotionally, chances are that helped shape your overall self-concept of yourself. Many teenage girls and young adults go through stages of promiscuity or falling for men who are emotionally unavailable, in search of the “father figure” they’re trying to replace. Sadly, most will never suppress those desires unless they mend the pain they experienced as young girls. So how exactly do they go about doing that?

Positive affirmations can truly begin to create change in how you view yourself. They are basic statements that you repeat over and over again, preferably while standing in front of the mirror. If you indeed suffer from low self-esteem, they won’t be easy. Some women get increasingly emotional and find it difficult to do. Perhaps that’s because for every negative thing that’s been said to us and taken in, requires three times as many positive ones just to balance out.

Below are a list of statements you can use in the beginning.

∙ I am healthy and happy.

∙ I have a lot of energy.

∙ I am surrounded by love.

∙ I am getting wealthier every day.

Just by saying what you want in life, you then begin to see and feel it, thus attracting it into your life. Words are powerful!

While positive affirmations are a great and healthy start, there are two books I’d highly recommend for further self-discovery. Both are by Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. The titles are Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families and its companion A Gift to Myself: A Personal Workbook and Guide to “Healing the Child Within”. Both are in paperback and available through Amazon.com.

The tools above helped me come a long way in my personal journey of self-love. Not being dependent on others for happiness, reassurance, approval, acceptance, and more, allows me to value what I have to offer in others. That only comes from valuing and loving me.

What Do You Do to Recharge?

by Amanda on December 22, 2009
category: Inspiration

brokenglass What do you do to recharge your energy or to re-focus? Perhaps you relax in the front of the T.V., enjoy a cup of coffee, indulge in some ice cream, or curl up with a good book. All these things are perfectly okay to do, but they don’t truly give us life.

As a mom I need energy, life, encouragement, and love, because I am pouring out all day long. After the kids are in bed, my husband and I crash on our bed and “take 5 minutes.” We need to recharge and rest. The constant listening, concern, disciplining, and physicality of lifting children is draining.

I often look in the wrong direction to recharge my “batteries.” I sometimes fail to have a quiet time and meet with God that day. I don’t wake up until I hear my children are awake and the bustle of my day immediately begins. Why don’t I fight for time alone with God?

My friend, Esther, shared this quote with me this past week:

“God is your greatest fan. As your heavenly Father, He is constantly coaxing you forward into the heights of spiritual victory. When you neglect the secret place, He’s not disappointed in you, He’s disappointed for you. He sees the spiritual riches available to you, and His heart breaks when He watches you getting by-passed. He wants you to share in heaven’s best, and He looks with wistful longing when you short-change yourself spiritually.” – Bob Sorge

Ouch! We are robbing ourselves of God’s living water with the cisterns we have created for ourselves. We are short changing ourselves.

It is hard to find time to spend with God. I don’t like waking up early and my brain is fried and exhausted at night. I have to fight to find time with God. It isn’t easy. I sometimes sit at a crumb covered breakfast table with my 2 year old sitting next to me drawing in her own notebook. Sure, she is distracting, but at least I am sitting at the side of a river with flowing living water. Its probably better to be sitting at the river slightly distracted with my children, than not even going at all.

My mentor, Kristin, gave me this challenge and I am passing it along to you.  Before you do anything fun for yourself spend some time with God. What she means is before you sit down to watch TV or read or eat for fun do something to spend time with God. It could be reading the Bible, listening to a worship song, or saying a prayer. The point is to seek God for His life. He wants to be the source of our lives!

When do you find time to be with God? What are some of the “broken cisterns” that you have created that you use to relax?

Guard Your Joy and Peace this Holiday!

by Amanda on December 1, 2009
category: Humor/Random,Inspiration

christmas_card.jpg

This post was originally published on Dec. 21, 2008, but I think this is a wonderful reminder for this year too! Today is the first day of December and this month is going to fly by FAST! Let’s remember to enjoy it! Say no when we need to. Get off the computer when we need to. Get on the carpet with our children. Laugh. Eat. Enjoy. Count our blessings!

Original post:

The Christmas cards sitting on my mantle are bellowing at me in their cursive gold fonts to have a joyful and peace filled holiday season.  I think the cards are mocking me as I run about town shopping and stressing about cookies and wrapping presents.  I do desire to have joy and peace over the next two weeks and I am determined to guard my joy and peace.

Joy stealers come with many different faces.

Unmet expectations certainly steal your peace when you are disappointed and upset. Anger is a form of unmet expectations. So next time you are angry ask yourself which expectation you had wasn’t met. Then you have the choice to look at a situation logically or choose to just get over it. My spiritual mom would ask me when I was upset “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Once you worked out a situation backwards, you realize that it is just money, stuff, a bummer, or a disappointment. Then you come out thankful that you are alive and everything is relatively okay.

Unresolved conflict steals your joy when you are fighting with a your spouse, family member or a friend. Some conflicts can be resolved quickly. While others have been the elephant in the family living for years. My parents have unresolved conflict between themselves as long as I have been alive, but I decide not to take sides and not let their conflict between each other bug me. They are both wrong and my only concern is their relationship between them and me. Even when they complain about the other to me, I have to let their comments roll off my back. Sometimes putting on a hard shell and letting stupid comments roll off my back is my way of guarding my peace and joy.

There are joy stealers on the road!
They steal parking spaces, go too slow, block the parking lot by waiting ten minutes for someone to load up their car and start it just so they can walk 20 steps closer to the door. One joy stealer may even be in the driver’s seat of the car! Your husband may be driving like a maniac or not going the route you would have gone. Just close your eyes and remember you will get there eventually.

Remember the big picture and keep your peace. What does Christmas mean to you? Is it spending quality time with your family? Is it remembering the Savior coming to earth so we can spend eternity in heaven? Is it being generous to others or a good time off from work? Whatever reason you celebrate Christmas, remember the big picture when something goes wrong and ask yourself if the big picture is still being accomplished. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

As you have joy and peace the rest of your family will feel it too. Don’t keep that joy and peace to yourself let it radiate from you wherever you go!

How do you plan to guard your peace and joy? Are you having a rough holiday season or this one being pleasant to you?

Abiding Monday: The Advent Season Begins

by Dawn on November 30, 2009
category: Abiding Monday,Inspiration

momcrowd_abidingmonday2_300x215[1] “Can anything separate us from Christ’s love?  Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?  (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love.  Death can’t, and life can’t.  The angels can’t, and the demons can’t.  Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away.  Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8: 35-39 (NLT)

We spent some time in the above passage in my Sunday school class yesterday, kicking of a 3-week series on the purpose of Christmas.  I asked each person to spend some time reflecting on the amazing words above, and to share a phrase that stuck with them personally.  The responses were varied and beautiful, and I also shared my own: the repeated use of the word “separate”.

I thought about how that word describes our relationship with God before Jesus enters into it.  Our sin separates us from a perfect, holy God, and only Jesus can bridge that gap.  In taking our sin upon Himself and nailing it to the Cross, Jesus made a way for us to be in relationship with God forever.  Hallelujah for Christmas, the birth of our Savior!

So seeing the word “separate” in the passage from Romans has all new meaning, because of the words that precede it:  “nothing can”!  We are stuck to God like glue.  In the words of a guy in my Sunday school class, God is like this loving, ever-present bodyguard.  That is certainly a nice picture to have in mind when facing the trials of another day – and a great reason to begin celebrating Advent.

I like to think of God not just as a bodyguard, but a gentle giant, one who is completely interested in everything I think and do.  Donald Miller describes it like this (in his excellent, must-read book, Blue Like Jazz):

“Jesus didn’t just love me out of principle; He didn’t just love me because it was the right thing to do.  Rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me.  I think I realized that if I walked up to His campfire, He would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story.  He would take the time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until I could calm down, and then He would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; He would tell me the truth, and I would sense in His voice and in the lines on His face that He liked me.”

It is this same Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas.  May your Advent season be shaped and colored by the thought that He is your friend, and His love never fails.  Have a great week, Mom Crowd!

Abiding Monday: Are You in a Funk?

by Dawn on November 9, 2009
category: Abiding Monday,Inspiration

Not long ago, I was in a hefty spiritual funk.  I hadn’t spent any personal time momcrowd_abidingmonday2_300x215[1] with God in probably a month or more.  My life was “fine” on the surface, but I found myself growing increasingly annoyed about everything and everyone.  My husband and children were receiving the brunt of it, which was so unfair to them.  And my husband confessed that he was also feeling spiritually down & out.  Basically, we were a family running on empty.

This has happened to me before, and I know it will happen again.  Maybe you’ve been there, too.  Just in a funk.  I knew I had to snap out of it.  And there’s really only one way to do that: make the choice to snap out of it.

For me, spending time with Jesus on a consistent basis is the cure.  Once a week isn’t gonna cut it.  Not even two or three times (though that is certainly better than nothing).  I know I am at my best – my most patient, my most humble, my most pleasant, and the most joyful – when I keep my nose in scripture and my prayers consistent.

I clawed my way out of the funk using a passage that leapt out at me from Galatians:

7 Don’t be misled.  Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it.  You will always reap what you sow!  8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death.  But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.  9 So don’t get tired of doing what is good.  Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.  Galatians 6: 7-9 (NLT)

Wow.  That’s pretty straightforward.  Here are some thoughts directly from my journal after meditating on this passage:

  • After verse 7:  “My choice to ignore You has reaped only a shallow shell of what life can be.  I crave vibrancy, a life of memorable moments and gusto.  And when I set out to please myself, I am only experiencing that at a minimum.”
  • After verse 8:  “Thankfully, I am not seeing literal death or decay, but the metaphorical kind is pretty serious, too.  I see the death of my personal optimism, peace, and day-to-day strength.  I definitely need those things throughout the tasks and callings of my life – and I lose them when I forfeit time with You, Jesus.”
  • After verse 9:  “Of course, TIRED is exactly how I feel – tired of my responsibilities as a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a churchgoer.  And discouragement comes so easily.  Giving up is always a temptation – as well as doing the bare minimum.”
  • “It’s like I’ve been ‘phoning it in’.  I don’t want to be a ‘phoner-inner’.  I want to please the Spirit and reap a harvest of blessing.  And I think the first step – first choice – is to spend time with You, Jesus.  Help me do that daily, even just for 10 minutes at a time.”

Jesus, I pray for any mom out there this week who is trying to claw herself out of a spiritual funk.  Please bless her with the gentle reminder that you are there, ready to breathe new life into her days.  May we all choose to spend consistent time with you.  Amen.

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