motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

Freedom from fear…don’t look back!

Don’t you just love the feeling when you wake up in the morning and think…today is a brand new day!
A day of possibilities and potential.
A day to start again…
As I was taking communion at church this morning I reflected on the meaning behind it.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are free to start over again!

I’ve had a rough year…there…I’ve said it. There has been a lot of fear, uncertainty and anxiety. But I’m ever thankful for my closest friends and family who have been there for me and most of all to Jesus who has been with me every step of the way. When the path ahead was rocky or unstable I knew He was right beside me, carrying me at times and wiping away the tears.

When you go through “stuff” whether it is an illness, separation, crisis or life upheaval, it’s hard to remember that after all the tumult has subsided and things are sorted out…you are free!
When we bring our prisons of frustration, guilt, fear and doubt to God, He is able to break us out and let us escape.
It could be the all clear at the doctors, a healing of the spirit, a restored relationship, forgiving yourself or another or knowing the peace of God after a time of unrest.

So often we live in the fears and prisons of the past, forever looking over our shoulder at the demons we have encountered on our journey, never really knowing in our heart that we are free!
The Bible says “Whom the son sets free is free indeed” John 8 v 36
And “Walk in newness of life” Romans 6 v 4
If you are experiencing rest after a battle or given a second chance to start over again, then walk in it, celebrate it, dance like nobodies watching, sing and praise God. Don’t look behind…don’t go back to that place of fear, you’ve been set free my friend! Don’t dwell on pain, fear, “what ifs”, doubts and insecurities. Put them behind you. Take a deep breath, pray for strength and walk in freedom!

Time to start again, and enter a brand new day!

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How healthy are you?

This week I went to a training morning as part of my role as a CPSW (school chaplain).
The morning was called “Restoring balance, avoiding compassion fatigue”
It was a great session, we learnt about the physiological responses to stress and how amazing the human body is in the face of stressful situations, think fight or flight, hormone response, or “what happens when we encounter a roaring lion!”
We looked at the different kinds of health…
Physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health, and what we do to build up those areas.
Eg physical health may be nourished by eating healthy food, exercising, and getting medical check ups. Spiritual health might be nourished by spending time in prayer, talking to others of your faith, or listening to uplifting worship music.
I loved the part of the morning where we did a self assessment of how healthy we are, in all areas.
We used a chart which showed us what areas needed to be worked on and a piechart to see where our time goes, whether we spend more time caring for others than ourselves. As a mum I think we are always going to be busy with the needs of others…nappies, feeds, baths, storytimes, taxi service, watching sports, attending parent/teacher interviews, parties, washing…the list goes on and on and on!

Some of these activities are nourishing for the soul too, watching your child playing with a toy, enjoying the hilarious conversations and getting lots of snotty kisses are all wonderful mummy moments, as well as these there are many other ways for me to recharge and renew my health,
I love working out, I love my quiet times with God, I love going for long country drives with my hubby, I love eating meals with friends and family, I love receiving a gift from a loved one, I love learning and expanding my mind.

What fills you? What brings health and strength to your body, soul and mind?
It’s easy to burn out with the demands of others;
work, family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, community, even pets add their own demands.
We can’t help or care for others in the long haul if we don’t care for ourselves too. Take some time this weekend for yourself, do something that nurtures YOU! Set aside some time to plan “you time”, read a book, go for a run, watch a sunset, have a yummy dessert with a friend, learn to loom band…whatever fills you, give yourself the gift of that time.
After all how can we “Love our neighbour as ourself” if we don’t first learn to love ourself?

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World Kindness Day

It is World Kindness Day today! What a lovely sentiment. Taking time to be kind doesn’t have to cost a thing. It can be an encouraging word, a smile, a wave, a hand stretched out in compassion or arms that hug a hurting friend.

IMG_4430.JPG What simple act of kindness can you do today? I’m looking forward to the return of Elsie and Elwyn our Kindness Elves on December 1st. I have lots of ideas for this years missions and acts of random (and intentional) kindness. If you have children or grandchildren, this is a special way to focus on the beauty of Christmas. It highlights the true meaning of the season to me, one of peace and goodwill to all. My children have Advent calendars but this is a practical and proactive way of preparing for the birth of Jesus and spreading the joy around. I bought my elves from Cheap as Chips, but I’ve seen homemade ones, barbies dressed in elf outfits, Lego elves and even soft teddies used. Mommy savers have some ideas to get you started and The Imagination Tree is the home of the original Kindness Elves. It’s a fantastic site with lots of crafts, fun, and creative play ideas.

IMG_1044.JPG Here are Elsie and Elwyn, our family Kindness Elves. Do you have any suggestions for our missions? I’d love to hear them! Be kind to all, and don’t forget to start with yourself!

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Procrastination…the thief of time!

One of the 20 challenges I’m trying to do is to “stop procrastinating”
There’s a saying “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what can be done today”. Wise words…
I wonder what are some of the reasons to procrastinate?

Mine are…
I can’t be bothered,
Other stuff needs doing,
I’ve got plenty of time to get it done,
Oh look a shiny object,
I wonder who’s on Facebook?

I bet you can relate!
Not procrastinating takes energy, and focus and discipline sometimes. Doing the horrible chore, finishing an assignment (or worse…starting one), going for a run, doing your tax return or contacting someone who you need to talk to but know it will be awkward. These all require a level of motivation, whether it’s ticking a to do list, a reward after finishing it, or the satisfaction of a job well done!

What motivates you to get stuff done?
At the moment I have an essay to finish and my monthly spot at worship leading at church to plan, but it’s hot, and the paddling pool needs filling up, tea needs to be cooked, washing has to be put out and there’s lots more time tonight when the children are asleep…..see it’s not so easy is it?

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But as I was thinking about the peril of procrastination it dawned on me that it can be very dangerous, and lead to the tragedy of a half lived life. If you have children you may be familiar with the phrases “Not now, maybe tomorrow”, “Next time we will”, “Perhaps in the holidays”.
How often are those promises kept? It’s so easy to put things off, there’s always pressing needs and other “stuff” to do. But how about instead of putting that bike ride, that beach walk, that story time, that baking session off, if we grabbed the opportunity if at all possible, and if not making a firm time or date to do it. How many more memories and fun times we would have. When we make that awkward phone call, what relief we feel, no more worrying about how it might turn out, when we get that horrible chore out of the way, we can be free the rest of the day from the nagging of what needs to be done and get on with life!
So I’m watching the children playing in the pool, enjoying the sunshine, the laughter of my boys and sun on my face, because actually I’ve been promising to get the pool out for ages, but guess what…I put it off! I can plan the church songs while I’m watching,
It will be an easy tea and I will finish my assignment tonight. Everyone’s happy!

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Dream dress – visualisation technique

I bought a dress….a Black milk dress. A Beauty and the Beast skater dress.
It’s truly beautiful, silky, shiny, colourful and swirls out when you spin. This is a dress that every inner little girl will clap their hands over!
I love it…
But I would like to lose a couple of kilos before I wear it out. It’s just a wee bit clingy over the hips at the moment. So I’m going to hang it on the back of my door and look at it every day to inspire me to make good health choices between now and Christmas so I can wear it Christmas Day feeling fabulous, pretty and confident!
I’ve seen this technique used in the show The Biggest Loser, where the contestants have a dream outfit framed on the wall.
Have any of you tried visual cues to help you make good choices?
Wanna see my dress???
Here it is…

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Isn’t it divine? Can’t wait to rock it on Christmas Day 🎄🎄🎄

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“Go and play outside!”

Number 20 on the “20 things to start doing” challenge is…Go outside more!

This weekend I had promised to take the children to a cool park I had found earlier in the week.
The sun was shining, Tiny Ted had had his sleep, so armed with a bag of goodies, drink bottles, hats and sunscreen, off we went!

The children had such fun, climbing, jumping, rolling, laughing, making a cubby behind the trees, using an automatic toilet (the highlight of the trip!) feeding the seagulls chips, and climbing trees. It didn’t cost a thing but was a priceless afternoon!

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And you know what is the added bonus of getting outside with your children? After tea, a bath and a story, the boys fell asleep with no trouble at all!
And I won’t be far behind them!

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It’s the little things…

One of the challenges is to stop and appreciate the little things…
Today I appreciated the beautiful flowers from a friend’s garden.

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I loved seeing my two little boys playing outside on their cosy coupe car, one inside, one on top. Watching their smiles, squeals and thrill as they careered around the garden was truly precious.

And what joy I had in buying Advent calendars for my 5 children, lining them up along the piano and feeling excited that Christmas is on it’s way, with all the celebrations, joy, festivities and traditions to come.

Next week I’m heading into the Christian bookshop to get our “Jesus” advent calendar and look at some Advent resources to use at home and work. This is becoming a tradition in itself, with my Mum and I having a coffee in the bookshop cafe and browsing the books, gifts and music, while the little one plays in the play area.

How are you delighting in the small things of life?
How are you preparing for Christmas? I’m already thinking about missions for Elwyn and Elsie the kindness elves.
Make sure you stop to smell the roses, see your child’s grin and enjoy your family legacy.

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Green tea, Christmas craft and happy clothes!

Yesterday I said I would try green tea…I did…it was foul!

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But I did do something fun! I went to a Playgroups SA Christmas Craft workshop. I help run a playgroup at the school I work in, and we got lots of ideas at the “training” morning. ( I get paid to make cool stuff for toddlers – best job ever!)

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A tick for art and creativity, a big fat cross for green tea!

Today’s task was wear clothes that make you happy…Black Milk
leggings are my favourite at the moment! Today’s choice made a lot of people happy from the comments I got too. Star Wars leggings!!!

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Wear what makes you happy! If tracky pants and uggys make you happy, embrace the comfort, if high heels and skinny jeans make you happy, go for it! Swirl in a skater skirt and wear pretty undies! Don't listen to those out there that say you're too short, tall, skinny, fat, old, young to wear certain clothes , within reason…sometimes our best friends just HAVE to say something, because slouching around in pyjamas all day, for weeks might be because we're depressed, not because PJs make us happy, or if parts of your personal anatomy are showing (and you don't want them to!)
But otherwise wear bright colours, experiment with different accessories, do you like hats? Wear one! Do you like stilettos? Find somewhere to wear them out or strut up and down your living room with a vacuum cleaner like Freddy Mercury!

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Break free from the mundane and be happy!
If you think you might be struggling with depression, please talk to someone, a friend, GP, counsellor or one of the many online resources or phone lines. Do not be ashamed or afraid, there are many of us who need a little extra help at different times in our life.
Here are a few great websites to start with.

Www.lifeline.org.au
Www.beyondblue.org.au
Www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

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20 things to start doing

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I found this picture on the internet a while back and just loved it!
It totally fits in with my life ethos at present, so I’m going to make this a challenge, try to do at least one of these every day.
Today I am going to Pilates class at the pole studio Flirty fitness, so that’s number 14 done, and I do try to stretch everyday, either in a class, using Cleo’s DVD or in front of the tv doing my own stretches.
A lady today told me she was going to go to yoga this week for the first time, and was worried as she wasn’t very flexible. How proud was I to tell her that in the last year at 42 I can now do the splits! “Total brag moment!”

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Tomorrow I am going to try a green tea and listen some peaceful music.

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Secrets of a balanced life

As promised, here are my musings of how I’m learning to live a balanced life.

Throw away the weekly planner
My life is too hectic to micro manage, my hubby and kids will always have changes to their day that affect mine. For me there’s a fine line between organisation and legalistic control. I am a control freak so having a planner is helpful when everything goes to plan…but that hasn’t happened since the dawn of time!
Alternative – have a daily plan, what are the kids commitments? appointments? things I’d like to get done?
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But be realistic, I’m not going to run, shower, clean the house and get an assignment finished in the 2 hours my boy sleeps on an afternoon. Also he might only sleep 1 hour. Which leads me onto my next strategy…

Let go of expectations
If I CAN get a run in, or clean the kitchen, that’s great, if not then breathe and see what can be done, take time to play, cuddle a sick child, or talk about what’s going on at school. Sometimes our expectations and plans can blind us to the best opportunities to connect and love our family.

Don’t procrastinate, use the time you have
I’m guilty of thinking, I’ve only got 15 minutes, I can’t do anything in that time, and the week goes by and I still haven’t opened my study book, sorted out the kids toys or done a stretch session. But the 10 and 15 minutes soon add up over the day, so I can look at some of my tasks I’d like to do and break them into 10-15 min chunks. If I have half hour or longer then I can crack onto some study, even if it’s just looking at the textbook reading, or I can stretch while watching a tv show or playing trains on the floor…(middles splits are great for Choo choos to go under!)
Often I put off the bigger tasks, but I’m learning that even these can be split into smaller more manageable ones.

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Seize the moment
Whether it’s a chance to encourage another mum with a text, visit your parents or make a train track with your children, don’t let that opportunity pass. For me that’s a mindfulness thing, am I aware of what is going on around me, or am I too busy on my phone, checking Facebook or washing dishes?

iPhone….do I need to elaborate?
I’m trying to leave my phone in another room when I have stuff to do, people to talk to or time to be still. Those beeps, rings and vibrations can be very seducing!

Multi task the menial if possible, but give your undivided attention to the people or tasks that really matter
I can bath the boys while cleaning the shower, walk with the dog and baby, cook tea while tidying the kitchen. But…when I chat to my hubby or kids, I need to put down the phone, or book. When I sit down to study, I need to switch off the tv and shut the door. When I spend time in prayer and meditation I need to go into a quiet room and guard that time. Be attentive in the moments.

This might all seem like simple common sense, but they will still require energy and motivation to follow through with them. I’m hoping this rhythm will be one my family thrives on, where productivity and self worth are raised. Where there are moments of calm in the chaos, and balance in the juggling!

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