In the Meantime…

I know some of you moms are needing help in some specific ways today. Will you remember this promise?  “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Is 41:13) Sometimes the help God provides looks different from how we would provide it to others or ourselves and we often pray that God would solve our problems according to our desires. How many times have we asked God to work His power into what we feel is best and how we want things to go? Guilty!

If you pray today, will you ask God to give you the help that He deems best according to HIS plans for you? Can you trust that He DOES have a plan for the outcome, even if you are in the midst of waiting and can’t see how the questions will become answered? “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)

In the meantime, as you wait, you can trust that God is at work in both you and your situation, accomplishing His very best. The result may end up having more to do more with your character and what He is shaping IN you, rather than how He is shaping your circumstance. My prayer for you today is that you will seek, depend and trust–a lot can happen in those meantimes!  “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.” Is 12:2

How Do I Fit Activity into My Life? By Guest Blogger and Fitness Instructor, Diana Pineda

Have you ever said to yourself, “Today, I am going to exercise!” but then you have to prepare breakfast, take the children to school, do the laundry, pick up the kids, do homework, and cook dinner—aahh! The day goes by and you had no time to work out.

So, how in the world do people find time to do what they like?

They schedule it.

I didn’t set apart much time to exercise until I became a Zumba fitness instructor. And even then, it was easy to get lazy on the days I had no classes.

Then, I decided to make an appointment with myself.  I call it VIP-ME time. I have now, one hour per day to pamper myself—I can watch TV, talk to my mom on the phone, or take a nap.  But to tell you the truth, I’m spending that time in the little gym downstairs of my building.  I do 20 minutes of fast and slow songs to pump my heart and then, resistance training for 30 minutes and finally stretching for 10.

After finishing my routine I have more energy and less stress to do all the chores of the day. I even feel better in my clothes.

Do you still think you can’t schedule an hour for yourself? Then try to “sneak” some exercise into your day. Here are some more tips that may work for you:

•                Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way.

•                Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

•                Do three 10-minute walks during your day instead of one 30-minute walk.

•                Walk and talk with a friend at lunch.

•                Put more energy into housework and yard work.

•                Be active while doing other things. For example, do push-ups or march in place while watching TV. Try walking around your home while talking on a cordless telephone.

•                Find a local park or school track where you can walk or run.

•                Walk around a mall.

•                Work out with videos in your home—you can find workout videos on the Internet about every single muscle.

•                Join a recreation center or fitness center at work or near your home.

•                Walk your dog. If you do not have a dog, pretend that you do.

Whatever you do, please have fun.  Even if it’s housework, put some of your favorite music and dance and sing.  Every time I am at home, I have praise music playing to dance and sing along.

Set some goals and implement a few tips at a time.  Don’t rush it but move at your own pace.

So what about you start this week? Take out your phone or agenda and make regular appointments for your workouts, just as you would for a hair or nail appointment.

Now it’s your turn, do you have another tip? What do you do to fit activity in your daily life?

 

Diana Pineda is a fitness trainer; lifestyle coach and Zumba Fitness instructor who is passionate about helping woman reach their health goals. Visit her blog at www.LiveSuperWell.com

 

A Regretful Miss, By Dana Joubert (Guest Blogger & Writer)

Today the first little person to steal my heart, leaves our home for good.  Raising him has been a struggle, from the custody and court battles in his early years, to the financial stress as a single mom, to the arrests and rule breaking that has plagued his young adulthood. In fact it is that very real issue of continually making rotten choices that led to this move today. While I had dreams that this day would involve a college degree, a wedding or a career offer, I have no regrets about my choice to tell him it was time to go. Discipline wise, my only wish is that I had been more consistent.
I have no regrets that once in a while I lost my temper and yelled, we are all human right? I have no regrets that I fed him processed crap in the early years, we do our best with the knowledge we have at the time, you know? I have no regrets that sometimes I couldn’t keep up with the laundry and he had to wear dirty clothing to school, or that the kitchen counter was sticky, although he complained about both. I also do not have any remorse over his journey with God. I have accepted it is his path to follow, and am pleased that he has worked out his doubts and is now a believer.
Yet, there are deep regrets. It is with sorrow that I remember how many times in exasperation, I ended conversations with him. I cringe when I think of how he must have felt when I brushed off his concerns, ignored his attention requests and expressed my annoyance.
Last night we played cards for hours. We giggled, we teased, we discussed everything. No topic was taboo in our random stream of consciousness conversation, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his thoughts on a wide range of subjects; WWII, math, comic books, and conspiracy theories were among the topics of the night.  These bittersweet moments only served to highlight the things I missed out on.
Yes, my regrets go much deeper than mismatched socks and arguing.  I regret allowing the day to day monotony get in the way of knowing this amazing young man. I regret lecturing instead of listening. I regret not putting our relationship as a priority. When I think of Jesus, who I want to shine through me as I mother my children, I think of his relationships.  He never lost one iota of his authority as he went about his ministry with his disciples, but he loved them as friends, he listened to them, he cherished them. This is evident throughout the gospels, but the Book of John displays this most dramatically, as John refers to himself as the Beloved Disciple.  I regret not being a friend to him.
So when you hear people saying that parents shouldn’t be their children’s friends, think about the time, energy and respect, that you pour into your friendships, think about the passion and love that Jesus showered on his friends, and make it your mission to not be a victim of regret.

Dana is a mother of four, parent educator and university writing instructor. In her free time she reads science fiction, writes, and runs.

Kaboom! The Root of Your True Strength in the Explosions

Isn’t it amazing how discouraged we can feel when an unpredicted, unplanned moment takes over our emotions, responses and entire being? Do you ever turn into crazy mama? I know I do!  Maybe you are trying to get out the door for school with your children and you are feeling hurried and rushed. Boom, or rather kaboom! Explosion hits–there is yelling, tears and frustration on both ends. There are flames, smoke, then ashes, and you were the source or contributing factor in the ignition. That’s the worst–knowing that I was the reason for causing upsetness within my child because I lacked self control, patience and couldn’t keep my tone of voice together.

I have found that dropping to my knees in prayer when I have the next free moment, before I do ANYTHING else (if I can), and asking God to help transform me when I get in my own way or in my children’s way, is not only calming, but truly TRANSFORMING. I can call a friend, drink my favorite blend of coffee to aid in the process of feeling better, but what I really need to do first, is go to God, confess my heart and seek His help. And then I need to ask that the discouragement and resentment that I have toward myself, gets taken and that He give me a new spirit, perspective and new opportunity to extend the same grace He gives me, to my children.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7 Like King David when fighting military battles,  his confidence did not come from earthly resources, but from the power and authority he knew God had over his life. Do you believe that God has that kind of power over your life today? Are you needing His strength in a way that you can’t give to yourself? Our days are filled with so many details as we parent, work, run and take care of the home and ourselves. We can hike, take a relaxing yoga class, exercise and do all of those things that help us to feel better, and they are important to do because we want to be healthy, balanced and pursue what we enjoy. Let’s just not forget to go to God when we need to be filled in the right way.  For it is in those moments when we are truly depending on Him, when He will have the victory over us so we can not feel nor be defeated.

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.” Psalm 20:1

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

 

 

Your Real Shoulder Bag

What are you wearing over your shoulder today? A fashionable diaper bag? Leather Purse? Your child’s backpack? Perhaps a cute tote bag or functional recycle bag because you’re off to Trader Joe’s to do some shopping. You are heading somewhere today and though whatever you are carrying contains the contents of absolute must-haves, it doesn’t define you any more than your clothes, shoes or hairstyle. What are you carrying in your heart today? What is coming out that might be reflecting what’s inside? (Sometimes, it’s a mixed bag!) “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Proverbs 27:19 Today, take a few minutes to reflect, pray and ask God to reveal the condition of your heart. He has a gentle yet honest way of showing us through His love and grace the aspects of our heart that we might want to examine, continue to carry or perhaps, trade in.  And trade-ins or exchanges are good things! But with God, you don’t need the receipt. He gives His love, transformation and salvation, freely. Your heart can be filled with true treasures–no matter how stylish the purse you’re sportin’.

Recommended Scriptures:

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

“I will run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

“Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23