Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Taking Care of Yourself

Today I want to share something that has definitely played a part in my own attitude as a mother and wife. I've noticed a tremendous difference in my own attitude when some of these the things below are done throughout my day. I've taken this very list from Kim Brenneman's Large Family Logistics book. If you're a mother, or mother-to-be, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Moms of one to twenty-one can benefit greatly. Don't let the title scare you off, seriously. Besides, define a "large family". We have five kids and I don't look at us as a large family what-so-ever. Now, maybe 12. That would be a large family. {smile}

Isn't it funny how we have classes in our traditional school systems that teach us how to calculate mathematical equations, solve chemistry solutions, etc. but we don't have classes on parenting or marriage? Yet, we're surprised as a nation at our divorce rates and lack of couples who want to parent. Anyway, just needed to add that.

"1. Squeeze a lemon into a pitcher of water for you to drink during the day.

2. B vitamins help tremendously for emotional stability and feeling good overall.

3. Cut out sugar, corn syrup, and chemical sugars. These fast sugars immediately enter the blood system. The highs and lows are very hard on your system and mood. They also suppress the immune system, are poison to your body, and feed cancer cells. Cut it out for one week, and see how good you feel!

4. Eat protein. Eggs are especially good because they are brain food for babies during pregnancy and nursing.

5. Fish oil is good for your health, your skin, and your baby's eyes.

6. White flour is about as nutritious as a piece of paper. Your body robs its stores in order to process it in your intestines.

(Kelli's insert...we've been so blessed to begin the process of milling our own flour and can I just say that the kids have taken to it fantastic! If you ever get a chance to sit down and listen to Sue Becker's story on why she began milling her own wheat, it is amazing and so jam-packed with information and education. I took notes cause I'm a nerd like that. Ah-hem. Anyway (clearing throat...), we love making pancakes, breads, cakes, etc. with our milled flour and then I know that they're getting great nutrition. You don't have to spend a fortune on a mill either. There are some on Amazon for $50.00. Making our own bread products has also cut down our grocery bill if you need to justify spending money on a mill. *grin* Our tummies are fuller, longer, and aren't craving food 30 minutes after eating breakfast.)

7. Avoid processed food. If it comes in a box or package it will hurt you, not help. Eat whole foods.

8. Eat salad every day; it makes you feel so much better! There are wonderful easy salad recipes. Make your own salad dressings to avoid the added junk in commercial dressings.

(Kelli's insert...I love just putting a bit of olive oil or coconut oil in the blender, adding a fresh squeeze lemon, some pink sea salt, pepper, a fresh garlic clove, and honey. I make a jar full and keep it in the fridge, defrosting it whenever I want to use it. I have to admit that salad is one of my favorite foods, however, taking 15 minutes to make one is not always an option as I am tackling littles. If the baby will sit nicely and play for a few minutes for me to make one, hooray! If not, I'm usually seen eating a can of soup with blue corn chips, an egg sandwich, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich.)

9. Hanging out laundry is great for stretching, bending, and getting sunshine and fresh air.

10. T-Tapp ( is my favorite exercise. If feels great all over the body. It is not running, jumping, and gasping for air. It is great stretching in a physical therapy type way. A fit mama will  be able to do things with her grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren!"

Some additional things I've personally found beneficial are:

11. Learning to love cold, herbal teas sweetened with honey or sucanat (Red raspberry leaf is great for mamas! I love THIS brew specifically and drink it daily. I ordered it back at the beginning of December and haven't gone through 1/2 yet. The kids even enjoy it. Full of vitamins and energy!

12. A hot shower in the beginning of the day. My hubby is so wonderful to get ready for work, then watch the children so I can have 15 minutes or so to get ready in the morning. This can also be a time of prayer and meditation if you don't have a set morning prayer time. Give your day to the Lord. Remember that He is in control of every circumstance. He is personal. He created you. Pray the Lord's Prayer if you don't know what to pray. It can be found in Matthew 6:9-13. It's where Jesus is teaching his disciples HOW to pray. We're memorizing it as a family currently.

 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’

13. It's always a struggle to have devotion time with the Lord after just having a baby (and so important!), so a morning shower or even just morning devotion time with the kids (we don't use a fancy devotional or anything, I read straight from Scripture...we're in the gospels right now and Daddy usually fills in with night time Scripture reading). I always take something away from Scripture, even when reading with the kids. I've also found that I'm not "dumbing down" for them. It keeps the bar raised and they're learning extensive vocabulary as well as defined terms that they should be familiar with (such as "What is grace?" "What is Exhortation?" "What does omnipresent mean?").

14. Getting out for a walk or a bike ride at least once everyday can really change a mood and get your blood pumping. Just admiring God's amazing creation with your children is enough to put one in awe and amazement, making the day's trials seem insignificant in comparison to God's great plan and story.

15. Making sure that the children have an early bedtime. We don't have outside help/family with the exception of  an occasional babysitter for us to get out on a date here and there. So we make sure that bedtime is early and punctual. There are always exceptions such as a night fellowshipping with friends, etc., but an early bedtime allows Rob and I a few hours before bed to talk about our day, finish up dishes, laundry or any other tasks we may need to get done.

16. Mandatory, daily "Quiet Time/Naps". I remember when our first born outgrew her nap. It wasn't until she was 5, but when she did, I had a toddler (Lincoln) trailing behind her who was rambunctious and didn't seem to need as much sleep, thus was also giving us his nap. I had to make a decision. Was I going to use the next week (or so...) to consistently TRAIN my children to stay in their beds for a quiet time, or was I going to cave, allowing that time of daily rest turn into a "free-for-all" of playing, doors opening and shutting to outdoor play, etc. happen? I chose the first. It was a rough week. I didn't plan A THING that week for quiet time. Nope. I didn't pick up a book, nor my computer, and I used the time that particular week not in physical Bible study, but just in prayer. Praying that the Lord would give me patience with every pitter-patter of feet that decided to come out of their room and into the hallway. You know what? It did work. Now all 5 of my children know what it means when Mommy says, "Time for Quiet Time." They immediately go to their beds, turn on their quiet music (usually classical or something peaceful), gather books, or quiet time activities and don't get up until the hour and 1/2 of music has ended. Now, I am able to use that time physically in God's Word, praying, learning and studying and that one week was VERY worth every minute. The best part is that when the oldest boy and oldest girl are in fact trained, the younger simply fall in line with everyone else. Not to say we haven't had a time or two when we've needed to reiterate, but 99% if the time, each day goes smoothly and children are rested, having had a time alone and are excited to get back up, playing with their siblings.

I'll finish with a quote from a book I just finished called In Search of God - Decoding Reality.

"One of God's main purposes in ordaining marriage and the home is not primarily for pleasure, as is ordinarily supposed, but to decentralize the self, to teach agape love. The stresses of marriage and the home are designed to produce brokenness, to wean one from self-centeredness, and to produce the graces of sacrificial love and gentleness." -Paul Billheimer

1 comment:

Melissa Dobson said...

I loved this! And am happy to say that we do quite a few of the same things :-) With the lemon water, make sure it is a glass pitcher, the lemon will actually make the chemicals in plastic seep out and then there is really no benefit to the lemon water.

I love the mama's tea too, you should also try the very berry tea!

Niacin (B3) has also been known to get people out of depression.