Surviving to Flourishing- Part 2: Where to Start

I shared last time about what the last 9 years of living in survival mode has looked like for me. Obviously, I didn’t share every little thing, just the highlights and nothing too personal or private. You get the idea, though. I understand the hanging-on-by-my-fingernails feeling. It’s not just you!

If you’ve realized that you’re living your life in survival mode, where do you start to make real changes? If you’re so used to just pushing through your days, it can be hard to even imagine anything different.

Step One: Give Yourself a Reality Check

In survival mode, everything can seem to be absolutely necessary. It can seem like we ought to be able to just get it all done. Often, though, the amount of things we’re trying to cram into our days isn’t anywhere close to reasonable- especially in survival mode!

Take a few minutes to do this […]

Surviving to Flourishing- Part 1: My Story

I haven’t “arrived” in the land of flourishing, but I have come so far this last year. If you feel like you’re just surviving your way through your life, I’d love to encourage you by sharing what I’ve learned, changed and planned to get out of survival mode and into a more meaningful, intentional and peaceful way of living.

My Background

Although it may seem like it at times, I haven’t always lived in survival mode. My life used to be very well balanced between active and restful, social time and alone time, work and fun… it just didn’t seem that hard to say to myself, “Hey, I’ve been out and about a lot this week. I need to get more sleep and spend some time alone to recharge.” That was back before I had my wonderful girls, my successful business, our farmhouse fixer-upper and several health […]

Do Our Children Have a Right to Privacy?

Before anybody leaves me a comment about how their parents read their diary when they were a kid and it traumatized them for life, let me just say that I’m not talking about the privacy between a child and his or her parents. I’m talking about the child’s right to privacy from the general public.

All this crazy media about the Duggar family and the debate about whether or not they should have publicly admitted their son’s actions has cemented for me my conviction about protecting and respecting the privacy of my own girls. Ever since I ran across the idea of respecting my child’s privacy, I decided to remove all photos of them from online, to not post personal details about their lives and to make sure I do not share anything that might embarrass them in the future. It probably sounds pretty extreme, but let […]

Outdoor Toys to Inspire Exploration and Adventure

With all the focus on electronic gadgets, gismos and games, I wanted to offer some alternatives. Yes, a few high-tech items can be great, but most children’s toys ought to encourage our kiddos to be kids! I’m doing a series with several categories and most of the items are good for a wide range of ages. The lists aren’t exhaustive, by any means, but I hope they will inspire us all to search for those gems out there that will get our kiddos active and creative! Be sure to check out the other posts in the series as they are posted. 🙂

Toys to Inspire Creativity and Learning Outdoor Toys to Inspire Exploration and Adventure Craft Kits and Toys Science Kits and Toys

Besides bikes, play-sets and sports equipment, what are some other fun outdoor toys? Here are a few of our favorites!

Gardening Tools

My girls spend hours outside […]

Toys to Inspire Creativity and Learning

Instead of more movies, video games, computer games and cell phones, how about some presents that get those creative juices flowing and maybe even teach our little kiddos something?! Whether you’re shopping for your own child or not, these will be a big hit. I’m sharing some old favorites from my childhood, along with some new favorites that our own girls enjoy. This post is specifically about indoor toys, so keep an eye out for our favorite outdoor toys, later!

Aprons

My girls spend hours in the handmade aprons their Granny made for them! They cook, clean, garden, do craft projects and play dress-up with them. Having something special to put on makes everything more fun. We offer these for sale in our store, Real Traditions, if you’re not up for sewing them yourself. 🙂

Spirographs:

I can’t begin […]

Goodies, Holidays and Other People’s Kiddos

Every single year, I hear the same story around the holidays. Otherwise peaceful and happy relationships are under attack from a very unlikely source: children’s diets. Friends, family and even strangers try to generously share foods with other people’s children. Tempers flare and the kiddos are caught in the middle.

There are a few things that I’d like for all of us to remember, myself included. 😉

Sharers (Usually) Mean Well

If you’re a parent who is at the end of your rope because of all the things that people are trying to feed your kids, remember that they usually mean well. They aren’t trying to ruin the child’s health. They want to make the child happy and they really believe that this particular food is necessary in order to do that.

Maybe your child needs to be gluten-free and your neighbor keeps trying to sneak cookies […]

Letting God Whittle Our To-Do Lists

As I’ve been making some huge changes to the way I blog (I quit blogging the “right” way), I’ve also become much more aware of how I am spending my time. What makes me decide to do one thing, instead of the other 1,000 things I “need” to do? Recently, it’s been whatever seems most urgent. We’ve been a bit overwhelmed with renovating our adorable little farmhouse, along with homeschooling my eldest, running our store, blogging and all the “regular” household chores that need doing. It’s been chaos.

As you know, I quit blogging the “right” way, which has freed up so much time and energy. It’s been refreshing and I’m now I am looking for other ways to do things the “wrong” way. 😉 Instead of doing everything the way that people think I’m supposed to, I’m asking God what He wants me to do… and HOW He […]

I’m Done Blogging the “Right” Way

Dear Readers,

Some of you are bloggers, some aren’t. Those of you who aren’t probably have no idea what happens behind the scenes for each and every one of the lovely blogs you read, or how much time those things take. Those who are, you are well aware that there is a “right” way to blog, according to the “experts” of the field. It requires constant blog growth, constant attention and maintenance, constant social media activity… Well, I’m sick and tired of constantly doing it the “right” way. As you may know, I think that the “right” way is often wrong.

I began blogging because I was passionate about sharing what I was learning about home birth, natural remedies, real food and all the other things happening in my life. I was especially eager to create a community where Christian mamas could learn about herbs without having […]

1 Corinthians 13 Mama: Love is Kind

Awhile back, I talked about what God was teaching me about parenting. I shared my journey of learning to love my girls through patience, including a lot of practical, real-life examples:

Love is Patient Practical Patience for Parenting Meltdown Prevention Parenting

I haven’t “arrived” in the area of patience, but God has been working in my heart and I’m ready to delve into the next part of “love” according to 1 Corinthians 13. Of course, I’ll still have plenty of opportunities to choose to be patient. The next word on the list is something that also describes a patient person…

Love is KIND

Am I kind to my girls? Let’s see what definition we get for “kind.”

Synonyms: Mild, benevolent, pleasant, gracious, gentle.

Antonyms: Harsh, hard, sharp, bitter.

People don’t often talk about being “kind” these days. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned word. Most people use […]

Becoming a “Natural Mother”!

I am passionate about natural mothering. My blog has tons of natural remedies, real foods recipes, natural pregnancy and birth information (including home birth!), natural cleaning recipes and ideas, solutions for less toxic living and more. Yep, I’m an all-natural girl!

Many of you are just getting started with “natural” living and are trying to get your feet under you. Some of you are even further in your natural living journey than I am. Most are somewhere in between. I know that, like me, many of you were inspired to move towards more natural lifestyles because you want to give your children the healthiest and happiest childhoods possible. I became curious about the ingredients in the food I gave my baby, the ingredients in the vaccines we were pressured into, the effects of the “safe” medications she was given by our doctor, the chemicals in her shampoo and soap. I […]