Friday, June 12, 2015

Scripture For Moms This Summer Season

You’ve snapped the official “last day of school” pic for Instagram, wrapped up Spring sports and grabbed every last peony bloom from Trader Joe's. It’s official! We can now grasp hold of the sweetness of summer.

My heart is feeling hopeful as we waltz into Summer. The joy of this season rivals even the best of Christmas mornings. As a mama, I want to thrive this Summer not just survive, and y’all I want that for each of us in motherhood. It’s time to steady our rhythm to the light breeze of Summer.

When you peel away the labels society places on moms you’ll find one common theme: we all want to see joy in the hearts of our children. Joy. It really is that simple.
So, here’s the goal this Summer: let’s be purposeful in how we cultivate joy for us and our littles.

Step 1: Inhale the bustle and stress of the school year.
Step 2: Exhale the joyful childhood wonder of Summer.

Summers look a little different for every mama. For some of you, school is out and you’re deep in the trenches of entertaining your kids every second of every day. For others (me included), we’re still in the grind of ‘working mom’ status and finding the balance between Summer fun and the usual daily routine. And still, there are the mamas who work from home and are now juggling their work hours with gaggles of littles all under one roof. Even with these differences I just keep coming back to our common goal: cultivate joy.

Wherever you find yourself this Summer, I have good news. You can have a fruitful Summer right where you are, with what you have. The Summer Bucket Lists are filling my Pinterest feed and the ideas for entertainment seem endless. But there’s a flip-side to this joy of Summer. The flip-side is we’re going to seek joy and we long to do it well, but without well watered roots we’re going to lose our way.

My pre-schooler reminded me just how not joyful Summer can be this morning. After the audacious request that he get dressed for Summer Camp, I witnessed the most epic of meltdowns. After 15 minutes of torturous debate with him, we were each sent to our respective time-outs (because moms you’re never too old for time out). And my heart whispered: Lord flood our hearts and home with joy and peace.

Moms, let’s not fool ourselves into believing every second of this Summer will be flawless. It will not be. But in the flaws there’s room for more grace and joy than we could plan for. 
Here are a handful of scripture verses to help us cultivate joy in the thick of it this Summer. 
  1. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27
  2. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. -Isaiah 40:11 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  3. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. -Proverbs 13:25
  4. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. -Psalm 118:24 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  5. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. - Hebrews 12:2-2
  6. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24 (grab a free iPhone wallpaper download here!)
  7. The joy of the Lord is your strength. -Nehemiah 8:10

There’s no place we can hide His love won’t find us this season. He sees us there making bucket lists and great plans for our littles. He also sees us tucked away in the kitchen devouring that last piece of chocolate.
Let’s make this season one of celebration and joy. Let’s cultivate the art of celebration this Summer not just for our kids but for us too. And when we hit those weary moments in motherhood, let's cling to the One whose joy is our strength. As we water ourselves with Truth we can live well in response to His word. 
The art of celebration in the daily routine doesn't have to be done perfectly. It was never meant to be perfect, rather laid down in surrender for His glory.
A friend introduced me to Rend Collective's 'Art of Celebration' video recently and it's been a sweet spot in my step as we begin Summer. Take a few minutes to watch this video, it'll be a bright spot in your day and a little spark to your fruitful Summer.
This video gets right to the core of my mission to cultivate joy. Get a taste of the joy we can cultivate this season!

Monday, June 8, 2015

June Goals with Grace

The best plans, I've found, are the ones we never plan for. That seems to be how May went. Looking back at my May goals with grace, I'm humbled. The Lord did good things in May. I wanted to keep things simple which was good because we saw quite the shake-up in our daily routine in May. 
I tend to be the visionary for our family. The dreamer and planner who sees the many possibilities ahead. My husband stands as my biggest fan and encourager in chasing big dreams for our family. But in May? In May, I laid down my big dreams to lift those of my husband. We set everything aside and hustled for one of his big dreams. 
My biggest takeaway from May: God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. 
And with that, I continue to surrender my life to His will because, friend, His way is so much better. When I rest on the standards of our culture, I drown in a sea of unrighteous expectations. But when I look to the Lord, I'm assured that good is being done to bring glory to His name.
Though things won't happen in my time or according to my goals each month, I know He's planned good works for me and so I press on. I lean in to new paths and a revived spirit.

This last month, I felt a revival in my heart and in our home. The biggest challenges were bending my will to His will. I do this again and again. I lay it down but catch myself later trying to make things go my way instead of His. Despite this challenge, I went before Him and laid it all down again and again. His plan > My plan - it's just that simple. 
I had less self-doubting which made more time to delight in the mighty power of God to move in our story. I learned to pray big prayers, specific prayers and that no matter what He is good. This last month, I'm overcome with gratitude for His sovereign hand. 
This next month I want to make a fruitful summer happen for myself, my family and this creative company.
In similar fashion, I'm pruning my goals to leave plenty of margin for Him to move. 
Monthly Goals:
  • Business Batch Day (update all expense spreadsheets)
  • Finish re-doing our back deck & host friends for dinner and a play date
  • Be wild and free in Him
Weekly Goals:
  • Be adventurous with Jackson
  • Intentional time getting healthy & fit (aka complete 21 day fix)
Daily Goals:
  • 10-minute tidy up before bed
  • Hydrate
  • Prayer and Devotion