Without Grumbling

Without Grumbling

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” 

Philippians 2:14-16 

An Invitation to Go Without Complaining

I invite you to take a moment to meditate on Philippians 2:14-16. Do you feel you are following this instruction in your day to day life? Would others describe you as blameless and pure? Does your life stand out in this sinful generation we find ourselves in? Are you holding firm to God’s word?

A few weeks ago we read this scripture in our bible class and I could feel my heart freeze. I immediately remembered the way I huffed out of frustration when my daughter wouldn’t leave my feet. I thought about how I often lamented over the stress of motherhood and the envy I’ve often felt in my heart toward my husband who goes off to work around other adults, and finds himself with 60 minutes of commute time each day to listen to whatever he wants.

As I thought about my tendency to grumble, my chest grew tighter as the Sprit continued to convict my heart.

I love staying home with my young children. It is my first choice, but I admit, the enemy has still found footholds through the challenges that come with my day to day life.  The temptation to grumble is not reserved for stay-at-home moms. The enemy hits us all with deceptive ways, no matter our age or circumstance.

And oh, do we grumble.

Scripture gives us a different way to live.

Scripture tells us to live without grumbling. Why? So that we might shine like stars in the world for the purpose of bringing God glory. 

Do you know anyone who is always able to find joy no matter the circumstance? A couple of different people come to my mind. These sweet friends of mine are the brightest lights. They radiate God’s love. I’m always so refreshed after spending time with them. It is not that their life is easy, without any strife.

To live without grumbling is more than just ignoring one’s burdens, it is living with the joy of the Lord inside their heart. Philippians 2:16 says this happens by holding firm to the word of life. We must know God’s word, believe it, and put it into action in our lives. In God’s word, we will find two beautiful characteristics to lace our hearts with.

A Heart of Service 

Matthew 20:28 says “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”  Grumbles often stem from entitlement. Christ, on the other hand, displayed a very sacrificial way of living. We must reflect on our life circumstances and look for the opportunities to serve and bring God glory.

A Heart of Gratitude

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Embracing a heart of gratitude and continually looking for the blessings in life will not only help us to live more joyfully, but will also align our lives to God’s will.

As I’ve reflected on my tendencies to grumble these last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded to embrace the season I find myself in, and to serve my family patiently and joyfully. I know that I will continue to grumble from time to time, but I pray that God often leads me to this passage in Philippians. In a world that feasts on entitlement and selfishness we will surly shine like stars from the joy of the Lord, if we serve and love those around us without grumbling.

So go ahead, jot down Philippians 2:14-1. Put it in a place where you will see it often and be reminded of a better way to go through your days!

 

To My Son As You Graduate

To My Son As You Graduate

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

 

My middle child, my youngest son, my baby boy, my graduate.

We struggled to have you.  You were a gift from God.  Even after your arrival, there were complications.  You were re-hospitalized at five days old.  If we had waited any longer, you would not have survived.  We were terrified, but God watched over you.  We brought you home and you began to thrive.

You were all boy. 

You liked to rough house; you liked climbing.; you liked to “explore”; you ran before you walked.  You had your first stitches when you were thirteen months old because you were running through the house on Mother’s Day.  You were always on the go.

You are a hard worker. 

You have worked mowing lawns since you were five.  You worked on our farm.  You raised pumpkins, gourds, and flowers to sell.  When you turned sixteen, you went and applied for your first “real job”.  You kept checking back until they hired you.  You were determined to get that job.  You worked hard and it was noticed.  You became a manager when you were seventeen.  A few months later, right after your eighteenth birthday, you got another promotion.

You have matured in life, but most of all, you have matured in Christ.

You have always loved God.  You accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior at a very young age.  When I could not get you to read anything else, you would always read your Bible.  You are the one that always reminds us to pray before we eat if we get in a hurry and forget.  You talk to your friends about their relationship with Christ.  You set a good example for others and always try to do the right thing.

Your father and I are so proud of the man you have become.  We love you and cannot wait to see what God has in store for your future.

 

Introducing Quiet Time And Sticking To It!

Introducing Quiet Time And Sticking To It!

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Laura P

Have you ever felt completely tapped out?  Do you find yourself at 3:00 pulling your hair out and searching for a chocolate bar (or ice cream, or coke, or wine)? I know I have, and let me begin by saying that I don’t think this is something that we have to accept as a “normal” part of motherhood.  Let me tell you what saved me from this post-lunch, pre-dinner, still-have-2.5-hours-until-Dad-gets-home-disaster. The miracle answer?

Quiet Time

What is this magical cure called quiet time you might ask?  I’m so glad you did!  I discovered quiet time several years ago.  I cannot remember what particular atrocity brought me to my wits’ end that fateful day, however if I had to wager a guess, it was probably some combination of too many requests to entertain one child while another screamed and clung to my legs for dear life.  You see, I never planned on playing Suzy Homemaker.  Oh, no, no!  My grand plan included slacks, business casual lunches, and a fulfilling career.

As humorous as it is for me to look back at those so-called dreams now, it’s necessary to see where I’m coming from.  Some moms just totally get it.  They were born to be moms.  They wear their hair just so and it’s always nice.  They don’t ever appear to lose their cool.  They plan fun outings and educational activities on a weekly basis.  They always have neat snacks packed in an uber-organized bag and they never run out of tissues.  All right so I may be stretching things a little here, but seriously, there are some moms who are just awesome. They just totally were made for this mom thing.

The Possibilities of Quiet Time

Let me tell you a secret–you can be too!  Oh believe me, friend, it is possible!  I too was doubtful.  I too was buried beneath the doubt and guilt that is parenting in the 21st century.  But fear not!  The answer for me was easy.  Enter: Quiet Time.  The magical one hour of each day that you can tell your children to go away and just be.  And then you know what?  You too can just be.  Think about it…the possibilities are ENDLESS!  You could shower!  Eat something!  Watch some TV!  Or simply stare blankly at the wall and just be one with yourself and your own thoughts.

This is the time I use to make those important phone calls, eat a snack without sharing, and open my bible.  We are constantly being encouraged as moms to rise before the children, open up our bibles and have some alone time with God to start the day off right.  Let me tell you that I’ve tried this and I have one thing to say about it, HAHAHA!  Seriously, my second child will rise when I rise.  If I’m up at 7:30, she’s up and asking for breakfast.  If I’m up at 6:00, she’s lumbering out of bed and asking what I’m doing and why is it still dark out?!

Psalm 32-6-8New International Version (NIV)6

No, rising before the children doesn’t work for me, so I use this time to catch up on my time with the Lord.  I’m not always successful in this endeavor.  I really struggle sometimes in having enough discipline to apply myself to His Word each day.  I feel like this can be a big battle for exhausted moms.  Hopefully starting a daily Quiet Time for yourself and your children can help make that battle a little easier, if that’s something you’re struggling with.

My best tips to get started with Quiet Time

1 – First, let me tell you that I’m not encouraging you to put your one-year-old in a room alone and shut the door.  

Independent play is something that does have an age factor to it.  For my kids, Quiet Time begins when they stop napping regularly.  For my son, that was sometime in his 4th year.  My daughter started at three.  If you have a two-year-old who has given up napping, you could try implementing a modified Quiet Time where the door stays open and the time is shortened to whatever is appropriate for that particular child.

2 – Regardless of when you begin, you’ll need to be prepared to work at it a bit.

When I began Quiet Time with my son, he was already fairly good at independent play.  He has always enjoyed creating things, so for him it was just another opportunity to make something awesome.  My daughter, on the other hand, was quite a bit younger, and being the second child, was used to always having someone else around.  She took some work, but through perseverance, we made it through.

I suggest beginning with a short amount of time when you first implement Quiet Time.  

3 – Remember to lay the ground rules and reiterate it a few times. 

Children learn through repetition, so it won’t hurt to have them recite the rules back to you after you’ve told them what you expect.  For us the expectations are:

  • You will be quiet while you are in Quiet Time.  You may listen to music or a book on CD, you may talk or sing, however your noise level should not reach me in the living room.
  • You are expected to enter Quiet Time with whatever you think is necessary to get you through the hour.  If you need a cup of water, snack, special toy, coloring book, etc., please gather your things on your way to your room.
  • If you need to come out, make sure it is for a legitimate reason.  You may come out to use the restroom, ask me an urgent question, or tell me something very important.  However, if you continue to come out of Quiet Time before time is up, you’ll receive extra time in your room.
  • When Quiet Time is over, Mom WILL come and get you.  I will not just leave you in there.
  • You are expected to do a quick pick-up in your room at the end of Quiet Time.
Now, please know that I am not some crazy rule Nazi.  

My children frequently come out to tell me that they made something super awesome or to ask if Quiet Time is over; however, I try to limit their chances before they get a warning.  I always remind them that Quiet Time is for everyone and that includes me.  If they come out, they are interrupting my Quiet Time as well as possibly disrupting their siblings.  These are the rules that work well for our family.  You’ll have to think about what works best for your family.

I did get pretty lax with Quiet Time over the summer, and let me tell you that after a few months I was getting pretty cranky and so were the kids!

Luckily, I recognized that I had been neglecting Quiet Time, which essentially leaves no time for myself.  So I would say that once you get it going, you should really think hard about taking a long break.  My kids don’t do Quiet Time 365 days a year.  Some days we have play dates, other days we’re out and about, and of course weekends are family time, so they have plenty of non-Quiet Time days.  However, taking a long break over summer had everybody gnashing teeth and lashing out at one another.

4 – Independent play is so beneficial for children that it really is something we should encourage.

In a culture that places an emphasis on scheduled activities and so many group get-togethers for children, it’s very important for kids to not only know how to entertain themselves, but to really be able to open their minds and explore their abilities.  I encourage everyone to do some more research if you’re unsure about the benefits of independent play.  A great place to start is here.

When are you able to get in your alone time with the Lord?

Do you implement some type of Quiet Time in your home?  What does it look like for your family?  

 

Prayer for Moms Across the World

Prayer for Moms Across the World

I'm Lori! My husband and I have been married since 2008. We adopted our son in July and live in Memphis, TN. One of the things I love about Creating a Great Day is that it is focused on inspiring women to the woman that God wants them to be. Every woman is different, and we all have talents to honor God and walk alongside each other in this spiritual journey called life. Have a blessed day!
Lori S

My husband and I adopted our son almost three years ago. Ever since we decided to adopt, I have had a wide range of emotions on Mother’s Day. Knowing that I will always share that day with my son’s biological mother encourages me to think of other women who may experience grief and joy on this day. This reflection helps focus my thoughts and prayers during this time. Join me in honoring these women in our thoughts and prayers this week!

A prayer for moms everywhere

Dear God, we come before your throne today, asking for your intercession in the lives of women across the world. We pray for…

  • the women who become moms today. Guide their hearts, minds, and emotions as they experience motherhood for the first time.
  • the moms who have lost children. Bring them the peace that comes only from you.
  • the mothers who work outside (or from) the home to provide for their children. Whether they work one (or three) jobs, help their work and sacrifice to be appreciated and noticed.
  • the moms who stay home with their children. Help them feel loved and appreciated by their children and spouses.

Father, we also pray for the moms who…

  • have chosen to place their children into adoptive families. Give them the peace and clarity they need in their lives. Help those around them celebrate their choice for life, but allow those moms an emotional space to grieve.
  • live in poverty. Help give them the emotional, spiritual, and financial supports they need to lead their family toward you.
  • are raising their children on their own. Remind their neighborhood or church communities to rally around them so those moms never feel alone.
  • became mothers through adoption. Bless their motherhood journey and give them the strength and clarity needed to raise their children in a new family.
  • became moms through foster care. Give them courage to fight for what they know is right and the ability to love even when it hurts.

psalm-113-9

We pray for…

  • the moms who protect their children from violence, war, and abuse. Let them know that there is still light even in darkness.
  • the women who have lost their own moms. Encourage us to surround these women with love. Help us give them the space they need to celebrate and grieve simultaneously.
  • the women who suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental illness. Put people in their lives to encourage them and help them get the support they need.

And we lift up these women as well…

  • the moms who love their children but not their spouses. Help them realize that one of the best ways to show love to their children is to love their spouse.
  • the moms who are struggling in their relationships with their children. Let them know that you are with them. Always.
  • the women who are “mother figures” in the lives of children in our homes and communities. Equip those women to engage, mentor, and love children.

We ask you to cover these moms (and others) with your love, peace, and mercy. May we never forget the importance of what the word “mom” means. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Six Tip to Prepare for a Mission Trip Praying the Psalms We all struggle  A Mother to More than Your Own

prayers-for-moms-across-the-world-pinterest

prayers-for-moms-across-the-world-social
Remembering the Blessings

Remembering the Blessings

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

It’s 2:30 PM.

My girls didn’t take a nap. My older one is being a stinker, and the baby just wants to be held. I take a selfie of my frustrated expression so I can pour it all out on social media.

As I’m writing out the text for my post I immediately delete and put down my phone.  A couple of hours later I catch my daughters sweetly looking at each other. I take a picture and post it, reflecting on how the days are long, but the years are short. I do this because I want to remember the blessings of the day more than the frustrations. 

Remembering the Blessings or the Frustrations

I can’t tell you how many days the above scenario plays out.  I’m not saying it’s wrong to share the frustrations of every day life with young children. In fact, sometimes I DO share! Here is the thing though.

Every day will have frustrations- children or not!  Years from now, I want to think of these days with my little girls as sweet. Of course I’ll remember the struggles with potty training, illness, and defiant behavior, but I hope my overall remembrance of these days will be positive.

I want to remember the giggles and snuggles. The pitter patter of small feet hopping across the house and the way she crawls backwards instead of forwards. The funny little words they say and the proud way they sing their songs. Days where we got to play, read, and relax. Days when personality popped. Days we found friendship. Days lessons were learned. Days of togetherness.

The reflection that I want to have in the future begins with the present. I have a say in how it goes! I must ensure that I’m noticing the good, and looking for perspective in moments of difficulty.

Let’s season our social media posts with gratitude. 

Yes, hard things happen, and sometimes we want to share. That’s okay. Let’s keep perspective though. 

Let’s do all we can to create great days so that when we look back, we won’t only remember the struggles of our current phase, but also our blessings.

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Building Up Your LeadersThe Best Life Praying for our Children We all struggle

Maintaining Friendships During Motherhood

Maintaining Friendships During Motherhood

Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Laura P

Have you ever noticed how we search for common ground when we’re talking to people?  A mother at the park engages you in a conversation about your child because they too have a daredevil.  An elderly gentleman in the grocery store chuckles as you juggle three children and reminisces about his last visit with his grandchildren.  A neighbor strikes up a conversation about the neighborhood park.  We are comfortable with others when we can find something shared.

Making & Maintaining Friendships

Obviously, shared experiences are important to a friendship. I’d even venture to say that shared experiences are a base for which many friendships are built upon. So why is it that we as mothers sometimes struggle to find or maintain friendships? With approximately 85.4 million other mothers in the United States alone, how could it be that maintaining a good solid friendship is so hard?

I’ll break down some of the obvious answers:

  • You’re constantly chasing after smaller, sometimes faster little people.
  • You had time for a shower sometime in the last 4 days, but not much else.
  • You’re trying to make time for the baby’s checkup, your 6 year old’s request for a game of battleship and the fact that your poor middle child still can’t count to 20 properly.
  • You’re taking up a lot of brain space trying to sort out the essential oil wars and the vaccine debate and so many other qualifications that might label you as a “good” mother.
  • You can’t quite remember why you started this list so you’ll put it on the once organized cork board with your 50 other lists.

It becomes apparent that as mothers we have a lot going on!

How much easier is it to log onto Facebook and take a quick cruise through your news feed to see what everyone is up to than it is to actually send a text or make a call?  I’ll tell you one thing that I see; Facebook doesn’t mind interruptions.  Did the baby have a super explosion that requires a full change of clothing, bed sheets and a bath?  Did you spot your son in the backyard tossing a chicken in the air to see if it could fly?  Is your 4 year old yelling “Can someone come wipe me?!?” at the top of her lungs?  Facebook. Doesn’t. Care.  Facebook will wait while you change the baby and start the laundry.  Facebook will wait while you have a heart to heart about treating God’s creatures with respect.  Facebook will wait while you scour a tiny bottom.

You want to know something else I’ve learned through my long journey of struggling to be a good friend?

A good friend doesn’t care.

A good friend will stay on the line and laugh with you as you change and bathe a poo covered baby.

A good friend will agree to a return call when you need to have a heart to heart.

A good friend won’t mind being set on a counter listening to bathroom noises.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man (1)

The Do’s & Don’ts of Maintaining Friendships

One thing we have to stop doing as mothers is we have to stop telling ourselves that we are too busy to do something that is good for us.

  • We DO have 20 minutes for a quick chat with a friend.  Our kids need to learn patience and respect anyway.
  • We DO have 30 seconds to shoot off a “how is your week going” text to a friend.  Do it while the oatmeal is cooking.
  • We DO have time to grab a coffee sometime in the next two weeks.  It’s only $4 and an hour or two.  Daddy, Grandma or a teen from church can handle the munchkins.

Mommas, we have to quit denying ourselves the friendships that can help strengthen us as women and mothers.

  • We have to quit denying old friends of our time.
  • Log off of Facebook and make that call.
  • Make the baby’s appointment and then send a quick text.
  • If nothing else, write down the people you’re thinking of throughout the day and then send an email or a private Facebook message when you finally get around to it at 11:30 at night.

There are never too many times to let someone know you care.

God knows the longings of our hearts.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who loves to have a huge group of friends or if you prefer a handful of close friends.  God knows.  He has placed these people in your life for a reason.  He wants you to foster a deep and loving connection with other children of God.

 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Do you find that you struggle to keep up with friends since becoming a mother?

How do you keep up a strong bond with friends during the busy seasons of motherhood?

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