Your Greatest Enemy in 2019

Your Greatest Enemy in 2019

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed some quality time with family and friends. Our family joined some friends last night and brought in the New Year with games, laughter, love, and encouragement. We made it to midnight! But we had our fair share of incoherent sentences and slurred words. No alcohol was involved, haha.

Today, I wanted to remind you of what you already know in hope that your New Year starts off on the right path. I wanted to remind you to stand firm against your greatest enemy.

What is our greatest enemy in 2019?

Forgetfulness.

This year, I wanted to bring in 2019 with one goal—to remember. But this concept didn’t just come to mind one day. It kept ringing in my ear for months; this notion that if I want to accomplish anything in life, I must remember to remember.

Sounds weird, right?

However, I looked through scripture for some clarity and discovered there’s a profound emphasis on remembering and a stern admonishment against forgetfulness.

In the New Year, I’m aiming to leave behind the following habits. Will you join me?


Habits to Leave Behind in 2019

 

 

1. Forgetting to set the right goals.

Losing weight and starting a business are great goals. But how many of us take the time to set the right goals? Setting the right goals will help us accomplish anything our heart desires.

And what are the right goals?

Let’s start with “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33).

Seek the Kingdom of God

And here are a few others!

“Above all else, let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives…” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands… Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

“So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

 

2. Forgetting to write down your goals.

So many people make declarations, but few of us take the time to actually write them down. What difference does it make?

We will forget them!

Documenting our goals on paper is the first step to achieving them. It makes them official and holds us accountable to them.

After Israel defeated the Amalekites, the Lord instructed Moses:

“Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14).

This verse serves as a reminder that documenting things in writing ensures it is never forgotten. So, let’s take it a step further and hang those goals up somewhere where we’ll be sure to see them every single day and as often as possible.

 

3. Forgetting your commitment.

Life gets busy. So much so that sometimes we’re so busy doing life that our goals get pushed to the sidelines. One week of taking time off from pursuing a goal can catastrophically turn into one month. The next thing we know, the next year is vastly approaching and we’re wondering where those twelve months went!

We’ve forgotten our goals.

We’ve abandoned our commitment.

But, what does commitment look like? In Deuteronomy 6:7, when God made the call to Israel for wholehearted commitment to his commands, he said this:

“Repeat them again and again…”

“Talk about them often…”

“Put them everywhere that you’ll be reminded of them…”

Although he was talking about his commands, we can take these strategies for practicing commitment and apply them to our goals.

The bottom line: when something is truly important to us, we do everything in our power to commit to it.

 

4. Forgetting the future.

We have a bad habit of looking at the past and allowing it to dictate our direction. Let’s forget the past but remember the future because that’s where we’re headed. The future is where our goals are realized. Where our success is.

Consider this verse when Paul tells us about pressing on toward his goal:

“But I focus on one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12).

Forget the Past

Proverbs 4:25 also stresses the importance of looking forward:

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

Why do these verses suggest looking forward and not to the past? Because when we live in the past, we tend to forget the future.

How bright it is!

How exciting it is!

How fruitful it is!

Remember, faith is not the substance of what we can see, but what we cannot see and what we’ve yet to see. Looking to the future strengthens our faith and focus. Looking to the past keeps us bound by it.

 

5. Forgetting to count your wins.

Let’s forget about how many times we’ve failed. Instead, let’s remember to count our victories. One method that helped me in the past was taking inventory on a regular basis. Every so often, I would ask myself what I did right and reflect on those things. When I started this exercise, it suddenly occurred to me how much I focused on my failures and how rarely I thought about my wins.

Consider this verse:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

When we reflect on our failures, we start identifying ourselves as failures. Which is simply not true. Romans 8: 37 tells us we are more than conquerors! Furthermore, we must remember we are what we think. For, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

 

6. Forgetting what you learned from your losses.

Mistakes really suck, but they drive us closer to our goals. They are invaluable teachers. They tell us what works and what doesn’t work.

In every mistake, every loss, every failure, there is something to be learned. We must make it a priority to learn the lesson so that we won’t repeat the mistake. When we learn the lesson, we become more effective, resilient, and wise because of it.

“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Proverbs 24:16).

When we make mistakes this year, let’s not beat ourselves up. Instead, let’s ask, “What did I learn?” I highly suggest writing down what you’ve learned so that you never forget it.

Learning from Mistakes Quotes

 

7. Forgetting how weak you are.

Put no confidence in the flesh. If you’re on a weight loss journey and you know you’ll eat every bag of chips in your pantry before the weekend is through, it’s time to stop bringing chips into the house. If you’re on a journey to become more productive and you know you spend hours on your phone scrolling through social media every day, it’s time to get an old-school flip phone.

“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

Why shouldn’t we put confidence in the flesh? Because “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5).

Our flesh wants what’s comfortable.

Achieving goals and reaching new heights is uncomfortable, so naturally your flesh will fight against it. The commitment required to achieve a goal hurts. The hard work, discipline, setbacks, etc. can really take a toll on us. Let’s not make it harder on ourselves. Let’s eliminate all distractions, temptations, and detours and keep our eyes on the prize!

 

8. Forgetting how capable you are.

Honestly, you can do it. Whatever it is. With God’s help, you’re more than capable of doing the seemingly impossible. Remember, we can do all things through Christ who strengthen us (Philippians 4:13).

Also, consider:

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Yes, we have everything we need. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. I’m sure most of you have heard of the story of the woman and the jar of oil in 2 Kings, chapter four.

To paraphrase:

The woman’s husband died, left a debt behind, and now the debt collectors wanted to take her two sons and make them servants. This woman cried out to the prophet Elisha in fear, hoping he could help her, and he responded, “What do you have in your house?”

The woman replied that she had nothing except a jar of oil. The prophet then instructed her to use what she had. To go and collect empty jars from her neighbors, fill the jars with oil, sell them, and pay the debt collectors what she owed them. The woman did just that and experienced the miracle of multiplication as that one jar of oil was able to fill numerous empty jars to the brim.

She was able to pay her debt, keep her two sons, and live on the rest of the earnings.

The moral? Whatever little you think you have, use it! Whether it’s talent, resources, discipline, or passion—utilize it and watch it multiply and bring your goals to fruition.

 

9. Forgetting not to please people.

People-pleasing is a trap so many of us fall into. It’s easy to do in the age of social media where we’re sharing more of our highlight reels than ever before. For this reason, I know that some of us set goals to impress others, win their approval, or one-up them. But we must ask ourselves, how impressed is God by us?

Consider Paul’s words:

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10).

Quotes on not impressing people

Here’s the thing, it’s not the goal—it’s the intention of our hearts. Our goals should never be selfish but should be of benefit to others.

If you’re starting a business, what charities or causes will you support with your newfound wealth? Or will you simply live an ostentatious lifestyle?

If you’re buying a new car, who will you bless with your old car? How many people will you offer to give rides in that new car? Or will you simply boast about your new purchase on social media?

If you’re losing weight, will you share your journey with others so that they, too, can experience weight loss? Or will you simply show off your new body to your overweight friends and secretly love being thinner than them?

The best goals are those that give back to the community. Let’s leave selfish motives behind in 2019.

 

10. Forgetting that God is in control.

Everything is working out for your good. Even if you can’t see it at the time. No matter how many goals we set or plans we make, sometimes God takes us on a seemingly different path. If we try to fight it, we’ll just end up further away from our goals than we need to be.

Consider this:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

Our goals are not for us, they are to achieve a kingdom purpose—to benefit the next generations to come. It may seem like it’s just weight loss, but you are setting the tone for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc., to live a healthier lifestyle.

Therefore, that fad diet may not be working for you because God wants to introduce you to a lifestyle change that is healthy and worth imitating by those who are watching you. This concept applies to any goal we make.

Things may not happen how we want them to, but we can rest in the comfort that God is in control and knows best.

Let’s take God out of the box in 2019 and let him help us achieve our goals HIS way!

Until next time, friends…

Make Mom Life Easier

Busy Mom? 5 Ways to Make Life Easier

Welcome back to The Better Mom Tuesdays! Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working mom, life gets hectic! And since you’re probably short on time, I’ll spare you the intro and get straight to the point. Here are five things I’ve been practicing to make my life easier. Hopefully, these tips will work for you, too!

1.    Design a uniform.

One of My "Mom Uniforms"
One of my “mom uniforms.” I can do pretty much anything in black trousers and a solid blouse. It looks put together and pretty much camouflages the unpredictable mishaps of motherhood.

Yes! It sounds strange, I know. But I pretty much wear the same style every day in a different color. Here’s the deal; once I find something that’s flattering, stylish, and comfortable, I don’t stray too far from that style. At this point in my life, I don’t have time to hop on trends, so I stick to classic pieces that can work for most occasions. An example of my mom uniform is pictured above. I’ve played with many looks, but I keep going back to the high-waist trousers, solid blouse, and (sometimes) a cardigan. You can also catch me in high-waist jeans, a solid camisole, and my favorite button-down flannel.

My secret is adding accessories! Eye-catching shoes, scarves, handbags and jackets can really dress up my uniform and create different looks. But, honestly, most days I don’t bother to accessorize. I can tell you that shopping is easier and less expensive. A few classic, well-made pieces that will last a few years is a much better investment than a bunch of trendy items that will be a thing of the past next Fall.  Even better? I know exactly what I’m wearing on those days I’m crunched for time.

2.    Eat the same thing.

Sounds boring, I know. But trust me on this one. Having set meals for each day of the week can save you a headache. Not only will you know exactly what your shopping list will look like each week, but you can also predict how much you’re going to spend.  On shopping days I can literally just cruise into the grocery store with the same list, throw what I need into the cart, and stay in budget because I know how much everything is going to cost (unless there’s a sale!).

So yea, I may not want to eat spaghetti every Monday or chicken and broccoli every Wednesday, but on those days when my head is in a fog, I’m grateful for the routine. Even better? Cooking in bulk so that the meal stretches two or three days. Every few months I challenge myself and try new recipes (when I have extra time!). If my family likes the new recipe, it goes into rotation with the others.

3.    Pull your hair up.

Updos on Natural Hair
Updos like this sleek, low bun on my natural hair make mom-life less complicated. It takes less than ten minutes to do and will stay in place even during the most challenging mom moments.

Wearing my hair loose takes way too much time in the morning. I’m constantly fussing with it to make it behave. That’s why I’m the self-proclaimed mother of updos. Top knots, military buns, sleek ponytails, classic pinups—they all take less than ten minutes of my time in the morning. Even better? They look chic and sophisticated and can be dressed up or down.

4.    Put your kids to work.

My boys have reached an age where they can be of some real use around the house. Lucky for them, they have an outstanding dad who shares in household responsibilities to model after. My eight-year-old loves to help vacuum, sweep, wash dishes, and wipe down the tables. My four-year-old loves to put the wet clothes into the dryer, help load the dishwasher (safe items only), and clean up his toys when he’s done (okay, so he doesn’t like cleaning up his toys).

I placed this tip on the list for those of you who have young ones and have not thought about delegating chores. Every little bit counts. You’d be surprised by how much having your kids clear the kitchen table, bring in the groceries, and load the dishwasher can shave time off your cleaning schedule. Make it a family thing!

5.    Plan the night before.

Home Management Binder
My Home Management Binder helps me keep my home (and thoughts) in order. It contains my daily to-do list, meal plans, events calendar, and schedules, among other things.

Spending just ten minutes each night to write down my goals makes a huge impact on my productivity, gives me peace of mind, and helps me rest better. I like to write my goals down in my home management binder. This includes things I’d like to accomplish the next day, month, and year. Give it a try!

To make your mornings run even more efficiently, take time the night before to prepare everything you’ll need to make getting ready a breeze. Clothes. Shoes. Accessories. Coupons. Backpacks. Lunches. You name it! Don’t forget to also lay out clothes and accessories for your children. Older children can be encouraged to do this on their own. There’s nothing like waking up and already having things together.


As a disclaimer, I am not perfect. I’m still learning to stick to some of these habits. Likewise, it’s important to remember that we are all different, so what I find easy may seem challenging for the next person, and vice versa. The important thing is that you find what works best for you. And when you’ve found your groove, share the wealth with others—it may help someone else!

So what are your mom shortcuts? Let us know in the comments below! Stay tuned for more posts on “The Better Mom Tuesdays” series! Every Tuesday this month I’ll be sharing mom tips! 
 

Stay-at-Home-Mom

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom | How Will You Cope When Your Nest is Empty?

Stay-at-home-mom or not, being an empty nester can be challenging for any mom. Take a friend of mine, for instance, who just kissed her eighteen-year-old son goodbye as he settled into his new life as a college student. This working momma wrote a compelling list of things she had to grow accustomed to now that her only child has left the nest. Having food last longer in the house definitely made the list, as did walking by his clean bedroom every day, and pumping her own gas (gosh, I love this list, lol). But, the most difficult thing to get used to was the empty nest itself. The quietness, loneliness, and sadness of walking into an empty house after work—without being greeted by her son. And this was where she got me shedding some tears. I don’t care what motherhood path you’ve chosen in life, empty nesting is hard!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but people tend to ask me this question indirectly: “What are you going to do once your children leave the nest?” In reality, it sounds a little something like this: “I could never be a stay-at-home-mom. I know my kids will leave me one day, but at least I know my career never will.” Oh, the shade of this comment (*side-eye), but it does allow me an opportunity to educate others. Just because someone is a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t mean they don’t have a career, hobby, or passion “that will never leave them.” In fact being a stay-at-home mom would be unbearable without such outlets. 

Nevertheless, when I am hit with this question, my reply looks a little something like this…


Five Things I Will Do Once My Children Leave the Nest?

 

1.    Continue to pursue and reach my goals.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom and you don’t have any personal goals, I suggest you start developing some. One of the biggest disservices we can do to our family is to lose our identity in them. It’s important to know who you are—outside of being a wife and mother—and what you want out of life. I spent quite a few years fleshing this out for myself after I started a family. My personal goals just fell by the wayside as I became completely enamored by the precious little faces that were my children. That was all fine and dandy, but I also encountered some serious identity issues because I lost my sense of self. It wasn’t until God reminded me of my aspirations that I remembered that I had so much more work to do on this earth outside of being a wife and mom.  You do, too!

2.    Continue to learn.

Part of my vision for homeschool is to encourage my boys to have a love for learning so deep that it becomes a lifestyle. Of course, this happens naturally because I, myself, love to learn. But there’s so much more to learn outside of academics—things only time and experience can teach us. As a mom to a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, I’ve learned invaluable lessons on infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood. Some of these lessons parallel other facets of life in splendid ways. You’d be amazed how parenting can mirror running a business! As my boys grow into adulthood, I will continue to learn. As they evolve, so will my knowledge of them. That is the beauty of parenting! I look forward to learning more about my children even as they learn to fly out of the nest.

3.    Continue to enjoy my season.

Life is full of seasons, and in each season we develop—mature a little, if you will. There’s a time for a full house of children, and a time for an empty nest. I’m thoroughly enjoying these moments where my home is full of my giggling, delightful, and—sometimes rambunctious—little humans. A fellow mom said this to me: “If my kids went back to being small like yours, I would play with them more. Take long walks and crunch the leaves with them. I would steal more kisses, more hugs. I spent their childhood waiting for them to get older, be more independent. Now that they are, I realize they are never going to be small again.” This statement inspired me even more to enjoy the season I am in. But I’m also looking forward to a season that yields a neater home, more traveling opportunities, and more hubby time! (*wink, wink).

4.    Continue to use my talents.

Most stay-at-home moms I know also wear many hats. In this new era of stay-at-home mom bosses, I am no exception. These days there are clever ways to make a living, contribute to society, and be a stay-at-home mom (technically a work-from-home-mom!). Whether it’s owning your own business, helping your husband run his business, or serving your community, these are great ways to sharpen skills, build your credentials, and exercise your many talents. Yes, I know managing an entire household sharpens a boatload of skills in, and of, itself. But I haven’t met one mom yet who didn’t say having an outlet made her a better wife and mom. Likewise, I know women who’ve nurtured their talent while raising their children. Once their children left the nest, these moms harvested new businesses, new outreach programs, and even published a few books!

 

5.    Continue to uphold the value of my commitment.

Let’s face it, people don’t value stay-at-home moms like they used to. My prayer is once my children are grown and leave the nest, I will continue to uphold the value of stay-at-home moms. One way I do this now is by supporting other moms who’ve been called to this challenging, yet rewarding, commitment. You may or may not have a “career” when your children start adulting, but you will have invaluable experience that’ll serve as great advice for moms just starting out on their journey. Don’t keep your experience to yourself! Share it with others and empower fellow stay-at-home moms!

If your children have left the nest already, let us know some ways you’ve learned to adjust to this new season in your life!