Other Great Resources on my Pinterest boards:
The best gift I ever received for a Mother’s Day gift (beside my two lovely children of course) wasn’t on Mother’s Day. It was when a girlfriend invited me to MOPS for this first time.
When I first quit my career to stay at home with my infant daughter full-time, I had no idea what I was doing. There had been no children in my life since I was a child and I babysat my cousins (and that was ages ago!).
I struggled daily managing all the tasks that it took to be a new mommy. Undiagnosed, I also battled postpartum depression and an increasing sense of isolation since all of my other friends worked full-time.
My neighbor rescued me, though. She invited me over for coffee while we watched her kids and mine play in the front room. (Our first playdate – before I even knew there was such a thing.) And then she invited me to MOPS. Mothers of PreSchoolers is a group of women with the mission of providing relief and friendship to young mothers.
MOPS is a place where you can go and talk with other SAHMs. They will hold your baby for you, babysit your toddler, and play with your preschooler, all while you enjoy coffee and breakfast in peace. There are women from all walks of life – all ages, colors, sizes and economic levels.
MOPS is a Christian organization and, when I first realized this, I was a little set back. At the time I was an agnostic so I was a little paranoid that someone would try to shove their belief system on me. But no one ever pushed religion on me or made me feel uncomfortable.
In fact it was because no one forced anything on me and only offered unconditional support and non-judgment, that I actually became interested in this thing called Christianity. I watched mothers struggle with even more desperate situations than my own calmly accept their circumstances with humility, grace and unwavering hope. And I became so curious – desperately curious – to figure out how they could have so much faith and so little fear in their lives that I wanted to know more and to somehow grasp what they had.
Motherhood brought me one step closer to God, but it wasn’t until a friend held my hand and showed me the way that I truly met Jesus and fell in love. And now I just can’t turn back. I have so much gratitude and so much love to give I feel like a cup flowing over.
I can’t be in MOPS anymore because of our own situation. However, if you can, I encourage you to look up the nearest group in your area. There are several different types: regular MOPS, TeenMOPS, MilitaryMOPS and MOPSNext – for those who’ve graduated out of the preschool years. There are even mentoring opportunities for mothers of older kids and grandmothers. (And international versions in every language you can think of!)
I do realize that MOPS may not be for every mama. But I encourage all new mother’s to seek out community and support at this fragile stage in life. Every mom needs friends who understand her and can assist her when times get tough. If not MOPS, then join some other mothers’ organization in your community. Look up “mom community” and your zip code on Google.
Articles I’ve published through MOPS International:
MOPS International is a non-profit organization and I have not been paid to endorse them in any way shape or form. I have not been compensated in any way to write positive reviews for them or to have articles published with them.
I just read these three books and I have to tell you – I am impressed! They are amazing resources and I can’t wait to share them with my children. Although my kids aren’t quite old enough yet to truly understand all of the parts of these books,
I plan on saving those parts of the lessons for when they are a bit older.
I just can’t get over how richly blessed I have been by (a) being included in this awesome bundle and (b) reading all these wonderful ebooks.
Please believe me when I tell you that this is a fantastic deal. These authors have put so much thought and effort in the books they’ve submitted. You are getting a ton of guidance, wisdom and help with less than $30.
Not to mention that all the proceeds of sales on Cube2Farm are going directly to help two year-old SuperMaeve win her battle with cancer.
EDUCATIONAL CHILDREN’S RESOURCES INCLUDED
Princess Training by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($3.99)
The Armor of God by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($2.50)
My Bedtime Learning Book by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($1.00)
Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($6.97)
Raising Rock Stars — Kindergarten Bundle by Carissa @ 1plus1plus1equals1 ($10.00)
The ABC’s For Godly Boys Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
The ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
K4 Curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler ($15.00)
Write Through the Bible (print) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Write Through the Bible (cursive) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Balcony Girls (books 1 & 2) by Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer ($19.90)
The Dig for Kids: Luke (Volumes 1 and 2) by Patrick, husband of Ruth @ The Better Mom ($5.98)
Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music ($6.99)
For individual sale only. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale has ended. However, you could still win a copy by signing up HERE.
This beautiful little girl is inbetween the ages of my own daughter and son. And I am sure she is just as joyful and playful and wonderful as my two children.
The only difference is that Maeve has cancer.
God bless you, Super-Maeve! Go kick cancer’s butt!
To read more about Maeve’s story and her good news this week, check out her blog HERE.
When I first got married I didn’t know a whole lot about men or what being a wife really meant. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I (unfortunately) knew about sex. And I thought I understood what love was. But that is not the same as knowing what it means to be a wife.
It wasn’t until after I had children that I truly began to understand what True Love is. Love is joy, but True Love is also self-sacrificing. (Any mama knows it, too, doesn’t she? All those sleepless nights and chapped, hurting mama parts.) How those words from my wedding finally rung true.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. .. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
[1st Corinthians 13:4-13]
Oddly enough, the girl who had the words “honor and obey” ferociously ripped out of her marriage vows, finally began to wonder what the word “honor” really meant. Over the last few years I have been desperately searching for the right definition. (Not to mention that my husband keeps threatening to make me repeat my vows – with the addition – at our ten year anniversary. )
Here’s wikipedia’s traditional definition. Honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual… with respect to women, honour has traditionally been associated with (or identical to) “chastity” or “virginity”, or in case of a married woman, “fidelity”.
Boring. Not helpful.
John Piper explains it, “Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection and provision in the home. Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.”
Submission doesn’t mean that we’re weak-minded, feeble or frail. It means that we’re empowered by choice, and that we’re dedicated to esteeming others higher than ourselves.
[Page 85, Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene Schacht]
Wow. We are right back to the words at my wedding, the removed vows and the critical component of self-sacrifice that prior to being a wife and a mother I had no idea existed. Darlene goes on to explain honor and submission in terms that finally made sense to me. I didn’t really like it. But I finally understood it.
And now I am incited to read more, learn more and be a better – more respectful and (possibly) submissive – wife. In the meantime I am equally excited to read these two books (also included in the bundle).
Although to be completely honest, hubby is probably way more interested in my reading of this than I am. Come’on, mamas, please tell me I am not alone. I love my husband. Plus, he’s totally hot. But most of the time I am just way too tired. So tired. So wore out.
I know how important sex is to our relationship, though. Hopefully Sheila’s got some fun advice for all of us
Amy isn’t alone. We all face temptation. It is the nature of our life on this Earth. I personally know Amy and think she is a fantastic, amazing, talented and humble child of God. I can’t wait to read her book and listen to her wise council. If someone as beautiful and God-loving as Amy can struggle with this (and overcome it!) I know I can, too.
For 6 days only, A week ago, more than 75 widely-known bloggers and authors in the homemaking sphere have joined together to offer 97 of their most popular eBooks and eCourses, valued at over $600, for the incredibly low price of $29.97!
One of the things I love most about blogging is all the techie stuff that goes with it. I thought I could convince myself that I was all farm-girl, but the truth is I am mostly Geek.
I love tweaking my WordPress settings, researching plugins and optimizing SEO. Even more, though, I love sharing what I’ve learned … so here are some tips from the experts.
Blogging Tech Tips from the experts:
- Use WordPress and buy the Genesis framework. There is a reason WordPress is the most popular blogging tool: It ROCKS. You can go easy plug-n-play for FREE with WordPress.com or step it up a notch (yet still with ZERO coding on your part) with your own hosted version using WordPress.org. Even easier, for $80, use the Genesis framework and have a ton of beautiful, sleek and chic templates on a solid, reliable framework. (More on this from BloggingWithAmy, the author of Tell Your Time.)
- Get to know and love Plug-Ins. They can do so much for your blog! My favorites include those by WordPress – especially Jetpack, Yoast and Genesis. (Again, I tend to go with Amy’s recommendations.)
- Understand SEO and make it work for you. I know it seems kind of overwhelming at first, but it really isn’t that complicated. SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is making your blog Google-friendly. (Problogger SEO tips here and a guide to Yoast SEO here.)
- Rock the social media. Build Community. Make friends. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram. Use ‘em. And use Hootsuite to schedule them in advance if you are too busy to share on a daily basis. (Strategies for Growing Community on your Blog here.)
- Participate in Linky Parties and comment on other people’s blogs. This is also associated with the previous bullet in “Make Friends.” Nobody likes the girl who’s all ME!ME!Me! Give and take, baby. That’s what this gig is all about. Sharing and caring. (Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions does a really great job at this.)
- Give credit where credit is due. If you are using images from Creative Commons on Flickr back it up with a caption that gives credit to the original photographer/artist. Here is a link to a great article by Sara about Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images. You should also understand the terms of Creative Commons. Continue reading
When I first left the office for life as a stay-at-home mom, I had no idea what I was doing: as a mother, wife or homemaker. In fact, I had never even heard of the word “homemaker.”
Wikipedia defines “Homemaking” as “the act of overseeing the organizational, financial, day-to-day operations of a house or estate, and the managing of other domestic concerns. Common tasks include cleaning, cooking, and looking after children.”
Wikipedia makes it all sound very easy. I am an extremely intelligent woman, but I found nothing about homemaking easy once I was a mother. I was overwhelmed with all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare and house maintenance that went into running a household.
I’m not ashamed to tell you (now that I’ve got the hang of it, of course) that I spent hours researching how to be a “homemaker.” In fact, I was totally OCD about my research and took notes. I joined groups, asked billions of questions and even compiled my own manual – as you probably already know.
I didn’t get there on my own, though! I had help – from my husband and friends – and a ton of bloggy friends. And those ladies didn’t all start out as my friends, either. At the beginning my only friend was Google, but after a few years of following these fantastic bloggers, commenting and participating in their virtual communities I felt like I finally might have a handle on this thing called homemaking.
You all know I love me some SurvivalMom. I think Lisa is awesome. She is one of my favorite bloggers and now, I am so excited to announce, she also has her own Radio Network! W00t!
Check her new Radio show out here.
BulldozerBaby is in a train phase. He LOVES trains. Especially Thomas. What other two-year-old boy doesn’t, really? So for his second birthday we planned a Thomas the train party – complete with all the accoutrement!
Here are a few tips for anyone who doesn’t have time to do all the research but also doesn’t want to spend $30 on those adorable train ticket invitations from Etsy. Continue reading