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Romans 12:2
Encouragement to fulfill God's purpose through Practical Life Application and Navigation

Routines Are Good For The Littles

Things are just a little cray cray in our world right now. What can you do to help the littles in your life not just ‘deal with it all’, but actually thrive in spite of it all?

A FUN and HEALTHY ROUTINE is the key!

Routine Isn’t Just Routine.

Kids (and most adults) do better when they have something to count on; something to look forward to. Routines bring confidence and comfort, and especially in uncertain and tumultuous times, a ROUTINE can make the difference between a stable ship or a sinking nightmare.

You can make a daily chart (Time frames for exercise, reading, fun play, lunch, etc.) or just give them an idea how things are going to roll each day, but either way, be sure to let the kids know what to expect.

Ideas to Incorporate Into Your Daily Routine:

Exercise – EVERY DAY! – And make it fun! Take a walk together, let the kids ride their bikes, scooters and rollerblades, go exploring – anything. Just keep em’ moving! Not only is this beneficial for physical health (being quarantined and sedentary can have very negative repercussions), but it’s essential for mental / emotional health too. A doctor once told me long ago that it’s impossible to feel depressed or anxious when you are moving. A brisk walk, jumping jacks, a bike ride….whatever their exercise of choice may be….just encourage them to keep going.

Read – EVERY DAY! –  Let the kiddos read to you or read to them. It doesn’t matter, just engage together. If you don’t have a surplus of books at home, there are a plethora on the internet.

Cook – together! – Normally, it’s likely easier to just do it yourself, but take the longer road (lol!) and let the kids help. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks….who cares? Just get them in the kitchen with you. Let them be creative, and even heaven forbid, make a mess. Enrich their little hearts and minds.

Dance Party! – Woop Woop! Nuff’ said!

Crafts – Most kids enjoy crafts and experiments, and many can be made with household goods on hand. Don’t believe me? Google ‘Crafts’ and list a few supplies you already have in your home and see what pops up. Trust me, you’ll get loads of ideas to launch creative juices you never knew you had.


PICNIC – You can do this in your living room or in your backyard – or walk a block or two to the park down the street. It doesn’t matter, just make an event out of it.

Sports – Throw the ball around or shoot hoops together.

Board Games – Time to pull out the ole’ games!

Have a Luau!

Puzzles – Any good ones laying around?

Video Chat with friends and family members.

Models – Do your kids have any models that are waiting to be built?

Online fun – Lots of sites right now have LIVE events and presentations to entertain and teach. Don’t just plug them in to an electronic babysitter, but participate with them. The Cincinnati Zoo has a daily ‘Animal of the Day’ on Facebook where they introduce a live animal and teach all about it (Noon Eastern Time) List YOUR best finds below in the comments.

Declutter – Your kids may not initially see the ‘fun’ in this, but perhaps give them a little incentive. (there IS a time and a place for a carrot!) Work with them to clean out their drawers and closets and then discuss the heart and benefit in donating.

Tickles and snuggles – While your teenager might not appreciate this approach, your toddler, or dare I say adolescent, might. Even when they don’t initiate it or say so, they might really appreciate the extra touches and giggles.

Movie Night – Always a favorite in our house! Let the kids pick out the movie (I know…I know… eye roll  here), pile the blankets and pillows in the living room and make some yummy flavored popcorn or special dessert.

Pray and share a Bible Story – This isn’t just for Sundays. In fact, now more than ever, this should be an every day occurrence. Not only is the love of God something our kids should hear about on a daily basis, but it also provides opportunity for reassurance. Regardless of how much we might try to keep the news from the kids or protect em’ from worries and fears, they will likely hear or see more than we want them too. Even if not from our words, it might be our body language and facial expressions that give it away. Should we share age appropriately? Yes! But their young, precious hearts also need lots of encouragement and comfort, and doing this with the help of Jesus is the best way to go!

Downtime is necessary too. You don’t have to be your child’s only source of entertainment and unstructured ‘No Agenda’ time also has its place.  

What Routines Aren’t

Remember, routines don’t have to be boring or forced. They can be organically infused so seamlessly that your kiddos don’t even notice how much fun they’re having or what you’re doing behind the scenes to keep them happy, healthy and balanced.

For the Adults

And for the adults, it can be a tremendous challenge to get motivated when we’re distracted, worried or otherwise consumed, but it’s our responsibility to selflessly sacrifice for our littles…  not just food and shelter, but to provide healthy examples on how to work through a crisis. We must instill effective coping tools. And we should share love, joy and hope with them EVEN when our tanks might be running a little low.

On the flip side, take care of you too! A lot of the activities above will also feed YOUR heart and soul, but don’t forget to run that bath, have a quiet conversation with your bff after the kids go to bed and get on your knees and talk to God.  Keep yourselves as healthy and refueled as possible! And if we can help, give us a call. We’ll listen, talk, pray with you or help in any way we possibly can. We are here!

You Got This!

These are unprecedented times we’re living in, but you’ll be ahead of the curve if you put your effort into taking care of the kids and allow God to take care of you!

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” –Psalm 34:17

Be blessed!

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What Did Your Thanksgiving Look Like? Surviving Change.

The Times They Are A Changin’….


If I’ve learned anything these past few years, I would say that traditional is no longer tradition. Change has found its way into my life. At times, he is an unwelcome visitor, invading my space with breath that reeks of filth and disgust and absolute heartache. Other changes bring joy and soothe my soul. My body soaks them up like sunshine beaming down on a warm summer’s day, every cell craving more and crying out in utter gratefulness.

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Surviving a Broken Heart

Recently, a family member lost a parent, unexpectedly, at a very young age. Young, meaning just a few years older than Lindon and I, and we definitely still consider ourselves ‘young’!  Tragic.


A friend of a friend’s son just passed away. One day he was there, and then the next moment, he was gone. Life-altering for the family. So much sadness.


A close friend just lost her Momma to cancer. She died a breathtakingly brief 4 months from diagnosis. Heart-wrenching.


The instances go on and on and I’ve no doubt you’ve got a few heart-breakers of your own.


My broken heart stems from broken relationships. At first glance, this may not appear to be as devastating as a death, but make no mistake, the grief can most certainly mirror the same suffering as from a death. There is tremendous loss, mourning for what once was and grieving for what may never be. Palpable on every level, it can render one useless and unable to function. Breathing can feel like a chore not worth the effort.


And then there’s the guilt. Because no decent person could smile or laugh in the face of such suffering. What kind of person can put the pieces back together and dare to enjoy life when others cannot or expect you not to? Are you an unfeeling monster if you can function in the midst of pain or heal and recover?


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When Did Hard-Workin’ Become Hand-Holdin’?


My hubby and I were talking the other night about this very thing…


Have you noticed that in general, the confidence and competence of our society has eroded? The entitlement generation which began a few years back has produced a people group who are easily offended, who want it all NOW, and who require constant affirmation. And lest you think this is limited to the twenty somethings, think again. This infection is now widespread among all generations.

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The Danger in ‘Using’ God

The Holy Spirit is the voice of God, and as Believers, we are filled with His presence. He speaks to us, guiding and directing our path. He may steer us towards a certain course of action, create a situation which is far more than coincidental, or strategically insert someone into our lives. There are instances when we KNOW God is speaking to us. Absolutely, positively just know.


And there are many times when we KNOW He isn’t.


How many times are you unsure what God is saying, yet you make the call on His behalf? Are there decisions which you credit to God, all the while knowing in your heart He’s not behind the urging?


There’s a fine line between serving God’s purpose in your life and using God to serve yours!


[Tweet “There’s a fine line between serving God’s purpose in your life and using God to serve yours!”]


In Declutter Now!, I speak about a time when I began dating my ex-husband. Okay, so many of you can already see the caution flags waving wildly with this behavior, but sadly, I did not. Discretion was not on my radar! I just KNEW the life lessons God had just walked me through were for this man and I KNEW I was the one who was chosen to make him happy. I was going to make it work, no matter what the cost, and I had it all figured out.


Did you notice how many ‘I’s’ I just used?


The truth is, however, when I actually listened for God’s word on the matter, I was way off base. It wasn’t what God had in mind at all, but in my brokenness, it was all too easy to use God to serve MY purpose.


Our choices are often buried in a mire of confusion. Even when we might legitimately attempt to listen, we can still get it wrong. But think about it. Have there been situations when you knew better? When you hid behind the façade of what ‘God wants’ and used him to serve your purpose instead? This is the dangerous, dangerous territory.


God takes His responsibility to us very seriously. He follows through on every promise and never falls short. We can depend on Him to guide us, provide the tools we need for success, love us unconditionally, and keep His word forever and always. If this is the case, then why would we circumvent His desire? Unfortunately, our humanness can get in the way. Can you relate to any of the following?

  • Impatience – You want what you want…in your time, not His.
  • Selfishness – You want it your way and only your way.
  • Pride – You think you know better than God. If something’s going to get done right, you’d better do it yourself.
  • Rationalizing – It’s going to happen anyway, so why not help it along and just get it going quicker.
  • Control – Hanging on to the reins tightly gives you a feeling of greater security and having more control.
  • Waiting it Out – If I can just get past this point in my life, I’ll start making right decisions and it will all be okay.


These are all very common emotions which trip us up from time to time. The bigger problem, however, lies with attributing YOUR decisions to God’s will, That’s a far more serious slippery slope.


Navigating on our own, apart from the will of God, will lead to disaster. Intentionally stepping outside of God’s protective covering leaves us exposed and vulnerable, frighteningly susceptible to the ways of the world and the full consequences of our actions. The temporary ‘feel good’ from a selfish decision is not worth a lifetime of repercussions.


When we walk in obedience, keeping God’s will at the forefront of our thoughts and decisions, we fall under the protection of His grace and mercy. God will never set us up to fail, and while we might face challenges along a difficult journey, we can take each step knowing with faith and assurance that we’re ultimately heading in the right direction. It’s incredibly freeing is it to know that even in difficult circumstances, God is protecting and blessing us. The rewards of heaven are ours, and God wants nothing more than to spoil us forevermore.


Ephesians 5:17 is very clear on the matter, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”


If you are going to credit God’s will with the decisions you’re making, be extremely careful that you’ve genuinely sought out HIS will and followed it to the best of your ability.


But what if you’ve listened? You’ve got God front and center and have made every effort to seek His advice and counsel. Are there going to be times that, try as hard as you might, you’re going to get it wrong? Sure. But God reads and knows our hearts. An honest heart motive is a far cry from a blatant disregard for God’s will, and even in times of error and miscalculation, God blesses a sincere and repentant heart.


[Tweet “A sincere heart motive is a far cry from a blatant disregard for God’s will. “]


Anyone brave enough to share a story about a time when you overrode God’s direction and took it upon yourself to carve an alternate path while justifying it as God’s desire? Did you learn from the error of your ways? Bless others with your truth, love, and hope.



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Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse, Relove

As my hubby & I enter a new phase of decluttering, I’m reminded of this post and how super exciting the whole recycle / repurpose movement is to both of us. Sure, it may take a little more creativity and effort but the results are well worth it.


Recycling isn’t just for soda cans anymore.


In case you missed the memo, ‘recycling’ has become ultra-chic and repurposing is the new buzzword.


Thanks to the new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trend, Goodwill storewhich is enormously popular on television, in magazines, and online, AND a hugely successful Goodwill marketing campaign, things are changing! And for the better if you ask me!

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The Love Pie!

Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I’d rerun a love-filled favorite! We pray you “love well, love often, and love much”. Enjoy!


What kind of pie NEVER gets smaller, no matter how many pieces you cut out of it?



The love PieTHE LOVE PIE!


The Love Pie is something I came up with years ago during a conversation with my niece, Kelsea. She was unsettled because another family member was coming to visit me – a young girl just about her own age. Kelsea was looking for reassurance that I loved her (best) and seemed concerned that this other little girl would be more important to me than she was. She had nothing to worry about.



Ahhhh, but what a great teaching moment.

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Getting Un-Lazy

Getting Un-Lazy    

When the inspiration for this blog hit me, I’m not gonna lie, I rolled my eyes and giggled a just little bit. What a silly post for one of the un-laziest, most energetic people I know – ME!  Actually, for one of the un-laziest couples I know as well. My husband and I are probably busier than we ought to be. We’re the folks who have to intentionally make time to relax, and honestly, likely fall short in this department. People constantly tease us about how we’re always ‘going and doing’, often commenting that they could never keep up our pace.  Most wouldn’t even want to.


Who in the world would believe me or take me seriously? If my coaching and writing is based on personal experience, how could I pull this off? And honestly, why would I want to? There are so many other areas I could speak to with far more conviction and experience.


But the topic kept nagging at me and God wouldn’t let it go. So I listened…and began…

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Decluttering the Christmas Crazy!

The upcoming Christmas season is a perfect opportunity to put into practice all the decluttering tools in our arsenal. I believe so deeply and passionately in the concept and am anxious to share this post with you as holiday encouragement! I’ve pulled it out, dusted it off, and refreshed it a bit. Please enjoy this tried and true message.


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Blessed to Breathe – A Timely Reminder

With all the devastation and sorrow going on in the world, it’s all too easy to count our fears and heartaches instead of our blessings. Today seemed fitting to remind myself, and you, that in spite of horrific circumstances, we are insanely blessed by a God who loves us dearly and there is still much hope and joy to be found. 


I thank God for the air I breathe. All the time. ‘No foolin’ as my Nana used to say. I really do.


I also thank Him for food to eat, the roof over my head, an amazing husband to love, adorable grandchildren to spoil, family to cherish, friends to ‘do life’ with, and for loving me even when I’m at my most unlovable, which happens more than I’d care to admit.


The glory of life has become my ‘Praise List’. Today I share just a bit of my heart and the blessings for which I am eternally grateful.

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