Will school start in person or online? Will you be homeschooling or going back to work or juggling the two? As a mom, you may feel at wit’s end right now with so many unanswered questions. Today’s blog offers you a few points of encouragement as you juggle your continually shifting responsibilities.
When you feel overwhelmed, remember the Stop Method
Step away from the source of frustration
Take several deep, relaxing breaths
Objectively think about how to wisely handle the situation (reengage your brain)
Pray for God’s help, strength & direction
Creating a Peace-filled Environment
- Develop simple daily routines (Example: breakfast, reading time, play time, lunch, naptime, craft time, tv time, dinner, Bible stories, bath bed)
- Start each day with Gratitude (thank the Lord for 3 things)
- Play with your kids instead of working against them – laugh, enjoy, create, sing, color, build a fort, have fun!
- Watch shows and movies together
- Play peaceful music – having the tv on all the time creates stress
- Limit screen time for you and your kids –studies show frustration/anger is elevated when parents are focused on their phone more than their kids.
- Get outdoors into God’s wonderful creation, go for family walks
- Have naptime every day for you and your kids – we all need a break
- Read books, pray and sing silly songs together
Take care of yourself personally – Set aside a little time now and then to stay connected with positive friends through calls or texts. Again, guard against constantly being on your phones as it will only add more stress to your life. If you need a break, see if a family member can help watch the kids while you take a break.
It’s easy to talk about the problems in our society, but it’s not as easy to discover positive solutions. When I think about journeying down the road to recovery, here are a few things for which I pray:
- Love, instead of hatred
- Conversations, instead of angry discourse
- Listening, instead of demanding
- Prayer, instead of ignoring God
- Humility, instead of pride
- Hope, instead of fear
- Nuclear families strengthened, instead of dismantled
- Wisdom, instead of foolishness
- Biblical values, instead of cultural ideologies
- Loving God, instead loving the world
- Compassion, instead of self-centeredness
What would you add to the list? It may seem like pie-in-the-sky thinking, but I believe we can each take steps toward healing and hope. Will you join with me in praying for our nation? And as we pray, let’s seek God’s heart on what we can do to make a positive difference in our own communities.
If you are looking for a way to be proactive, I invite you to join the volunteer team with Engage Positive Parenting Initiative. Our desire is to strengthen and restore families through parenting discussion groups. The Engage program not only encourages fruitful conversation and stimulating ideas, but it also builds relationships across the racial divide.
Currently we are holding classes online. Our next Volunteer Training will be Wednesday, August 12, 10:00 – 1:00 CT via zoom. You can find out more information about Engage and sign up for training at www.EngageParenting.com
My heart is grieving over the events of this past week. My desire is to be more aware of the deep pain so many people feel in this country. If you are like me, you want to be part of the solution toward racial reconciliation, but it is hard to know what to do. I believe big change begins with small steps. How do we begin to turn toward unity and away from misunderstanding?
Here are a few things we ought to humbly admit:
We don’t know it all. We tend to form our opinions based on our own experiences and perspective which limits our understanding of others. It is wise for each of us to humbly admit that we don’t know exactly what another person’s life is like. We don’t have a clue about the pain they have felt or the biases they have experienced over the years. Let’s simply realize we have much to learn about each other.
We all need fixing. Instead of pointing the finger at someone else’s issues, we need to consider that we all have issues. No one is without sin. We all need growth, improvement, wisdom and understanding. Instead of focusing on the faults of others, let’s ask God to shine the light on our own hearts and help us see where we need to grow in our love and understanding.
We must reach out and engage. Let’s consider how many people in our little circle of friends are of different races or nationalities. Let’s be deliberate about reaching across the racial divide by engaging in conversations and developing relationships with people who don’t look like we do. Let’s be intentional about building new friendships and getting to know what someone else’s life is like.
We should pray. Are we actively seeking God’s help in the racial reconciliation of our land? Are we praying daily for the needs of those who are different than ourselves? Are we praying for healing? Let’s start today! Let’s start now! As we pray, God begins to open our hearts and minds to the opportunities to love, serve and build bridges.* God can do a healing work beyond what we can ask or imagine.
These thoughts are just a start. One step at a time, one relationship at a time, we can build bridges and make a positive difference in this world. It begins by embracing those who do not look just like us, listening to their story and understanding their pain. May the anger subside, as love, growth and forgiveness take hold.
Positive Mom notes: Moms, I encourage you to have conversations with your kids about how important it is to love all people, no matter what their skin color. Allow your kids to join you as you volunteer and serve with people of different races and nationalities.
*If you are looking for a place to serve and build relationships, consider volunteering with Engage Positive Parenting Initiative.
Perhaps you are feeling a little antsy right now. Perhaps that’s an understatement. You’ve watched all your favorite movies, cleaned out every junk drawer and taken your dog on three walks a day. Maybe you are wishing that you could do something – anything – meaningful. The good news is, each of us can find one positive thing to do to help others.
Selfless acts lift our spirits and help us fell as sense of purposefulness. We may not be able to solve all the world’s problems, but we can do small acts of kindness in our own sphere of influence. Here are some creative ideas gleaned from people around me that may spur you on to love and good deeds:
- Several friends are using their sewing abilities to make face masks for health care workers and individuals.
- Others are gathering groceries and leaving them on the doorstep of those who need help or have lost their jobs.
- Some are making a deliberate effort to write at least one note a day to uplift the heart of another.
- In my world, I help direct an organization calledEngage Positive Parenting Initiative. Since we serve parents in under-resourced areas, my team has joined together to assemble family fun packs filled with snacks and activities to encourage and help homebound parents.
- One thing that all of us can and should do each day is fall to our knees and pray. There is a true sense of peace we experience when we sincerely go to the Lord on behalf of others. Ask God to comfort the hurting and bring hope to those in despair. Pray for our leaders and the healthcare workers and first responders. Pray for an effective vaccine to be developed quickly. Pray for those who are sick and dying here and around the world. Ask God to show you what you can do and who you should reach out to using the gifts He has given you.
Yes, everyone can do something positive! When we do these simple acts of love, we bring joy into our own environment as well as the world around us. Stay Calm. Stay Kind. Stay Strong.
Here in Dallas we have been ordered to “Shelter in Place,” but that doesn’t mean we have to step away from joy and happiness. We can still open the curtains and let the sun shine into our lives. How do we stay upbeat when we feel downtrodden? Here a few ways to invite a little sunshine to brighten your days.
Give Thanks Every Morning. Things may seem gloomy, but you can always find reasons to be thankful – you just need to look a little bit harder. Thank the Lord that you can still go on a walk. You can still hear the birds chirping, and see the spring flowers blooming. Daily write down at least five blessings that you experienced in the last 24 hours.
Listen to Uplifting Music. Music can soothe the soul. The other day (before we were quarantined) I was at a friend’s house, and we sat down at the piano and sang hymns together. It was rejuvenating! Be deliberate about finding songs that strengthen, encourage and inspire you. Listen to them often and play them for your family. While doing the 20-second handwash thing, sing a praise song. “Oh How I Love Jesus” is my go-to handwashing song.
Play the Glad Game. When you feel like complaining, turn it around to consider what you can be glad about instead. You may feel frustrated about the fact that you can’t go out with friends, but you can be glad about the fact that we live in a day when you can facetime or conference call one another. Replace every complaint with something that makes you glad.
Take Time to Pray. I know we all talk about praying, but do we actually do it? I encourage you to find a quiet place and time that you can get on your knees and cast your cares to Almighty God. Seek His guidance and wisdom as you face these challenging times. Find your solace in this sweet time of prayer. Pray for those who are sick around the world and the healthcare workers who care for them. Be much with God in the quiet places as well as throughout your day.
Do Kind Acts for Others. We may be confined, but we can still show love. What about calling or texting those who are lonely? Write notes to neighbors, family and friends to let them know you are thinking about them. Drop off groceries (or toilet paper) to those who are in need. Be a source of kindness and encouragement on social media and in your neighborhood. Possibly the most important acts of kindness you can show during this time is letting go of resentment and anger toward others.
Guard your thought-life and do not let your mind ruminate on the worries and what-ifs. Live wisely and thoughtfully but not fearfully. This can be a positive time, but we make it a negative one if we live with selfishness and/or anxiety. Let’s inhale God’s peace and exhale needless fear as we walk together though this time. May we each turn our minds upward to make the best of each day that we have here on earth.