E is for Encouragement

E is for Encouragement.

If you read my bio, the very first thing I list is that “I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places.”

As I move to embrace that idea more intentionally, it’s only fair to explain why I’m so passionate about encouragement.

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P is for Passion

It sounds so simple — live your life with passion and purpose.

Nailing down exactly what that means is a little harder. What exactly does a life filled with passion and purpose look like and how on earth do I achieve it? People build entire careers around the subject. The publishing industry churns out countless books on the subject.

Y’all. We spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to figure out what it means to live with passion and purpose instead of actually LIVING that way.

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It really was about peace

Peace is a beautiful thing.

At the end of my 31 day series on Joy in motherhood in 2012, I was wiped out and drained.  I didn’t even want to look at the letter J on my keyboard!  But somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, I started contemplating what I’d write for the next 31 day challenge.

I had this dream about writing the whole series in advance and then taking a month off from writing…

Somewhere around Valentine’s Day, I started playing with the idea of writing 31 Days of Peace in the Home.

Because my home was filled with chaos and I needed the dream of peace…

Somewhere around July 4th, I abandoned the idea of writing about ANY kind of fruit of the spirit, especially peace.

I’d written a guest post on the fruit of self-control, and 500 words was all I could manage…

Somewhere around Labor Day, my husband suggested I write about anger.

Don’t tell him, but he was right. 

Imagine my shock when I discovered it was all about peace anyway. [Read more…]

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What is there to be angry about anyway?

It’s a big question. “What am I angry about?”

For over a week, I walked around with this big question nagging at the back of my brain. I did my best to ignore it.

I tried to pretend that it was a different question. I focused on writing down my thoughts in my yelling journal every time my anger spilled over and became observable. I started including all the times I was yelling with my actions and thoughts – not just the times I yelled where other people could hear it.

But honestly, this is a different kind of question. [Read more…]

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Days of Anger – The Beginning

As I shared yesterday, I was reluctant to write about anger. It’s not exactly in my comfort zone. I wrote about JOY last year, so at first it seemed like a bit of a credibility stretch for me to tackle.

But then I looked hard at the dictionary (well, I Googled it.  I didn’t get carried away to the point of pulling out an actual printed book or anything.)

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You Can’t Outsource Motherhood.

It’s true – you can’t outsource motherhood!

I always giggle at the annual report where they calculate the replacement value of a stay at home mom (or what her annual salary would be.)

Have you looked at it? According to Salary.com, I should be paid over $112,000 for 2012.

(updated 2014: Salary.com now provides a custom calculator that allows you to customize your mom salary based on location and number of kids. It even lets you print a “paycheck.”)

That’s nice.

Can someone send me a check? [Read more…]

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Joy is a choice we make

Joy is a choice we make.

The uncomfortable flip side of that is that we can also choose “un-joy” – sadness, discontent, unhappiness, bleh-ness, and whatever other term you want to use for the days when there is no joy.

(Depression is, arguably, a different animal.  When the brain chemicals get messed up, it’s hard to set things straight.  I’m not talking about THAT kind of un-joy.)

The more I’ve written about joy and the further I go into the 31 Days of Joy in Motherhood, the more I’m convinced of this basic truth.

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