Minimalism Game 2015

I was looking for a thumb drive and pulled down the box that should have had it. Instead I found a bunch of random stuff. What in the world? There an empty bubble wand, a purple jingle bell, a paper doll, a broken camera, a door to a Noah’s Ark toy that we no longer have, and a plastic gold coin. Hmmm, I think it’s time for the Minimalism Game again.

What is the Minimalism Game?   The point of the game is to get rid of items every day: as many items as the date of the month. If you don’t love it or use it, lose it; either donate it or throw it away. Don’t save it because you one day might need it. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. If you packed it away in a box and it’s been in your garage for years, get rid of it. You obviously have been doing fine without it (or else you bought another one, in which case, you now have two, so get rid of one!!)

“Get rid of the trash to make room for the treasures. Let the things that are important take center stage.” —Peter Walsh

Here’s how to play: get rid of as many items as the date. So, for the first of the month, get rid of one item. Either donate it or throw it away. For the second day of the month, get rid of two items, and so on until the 31st of the month, where we will get rid of 31 items.

This will bring the total to 496 items (that are no longer needed, used, or loved) that will no longer clutter our houses.

You can join me every day in October.  I’ll be on Instagram and Twitter everyday with the hashtag #MinimalismGame – you don’t have to take pictures, you can just comment below the post (but if you DO take a pic, don’t forget to tag it #MinimalismGame).

Come November 1st, we will have a less cluttered house to live in!


Day 1 – the empty bubble wand that is two years old. Yeah, Minion, you seem to get me.

Reclaiming Home

Do you struggle with your household because it is always in chaos? Do you seem to be spinning out of control and losing the focus of your family? I sure seem to. That’s why I want to tell you about this book I read.

In Reclaiming Home, Krista Gilbert gives practical advice on how to get your home back in control. She talks about marriage, kids, technology and media, household chores, activities (I am now a soccer mom, so…HELP!!), and every aspect of family life that the house revolves around.  Did I say that the advice is practical? It really is. She gives examples of her life, and then gives suggestions that YOU can implement. I have found the suggestions to be realistic and something I can actually do. She concentrates on five foundational principles in each chapter.11903950_10207590777751311_5222888634670885702_n

I have loved how this book gets to the heart of family. What it means to be a family and how to reclaim that meaning. As a mom with young kids, I wonder, even now, if I am losing my kids. Am I doing everything I can to build my family?

Krista Gilbert touched my heart with her words and spoke to my longings as a wife, mom and homemaker. I think her book would speak to you as well.


This post was inspired by Krista Gilbert’s new book, Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide For Life, Love & Legacy. Pre-­Order for lots of fun goodies, including a printable calendar with activities for your family, conversation cards, a celebrate banner, 4 videos on reclaiming your home and marriage, and a “Making a Difference” Printable.

Join Krista for an Author Facebook Chat Party on September 14th at 8:00pm CST for book discussion, fun and lots of giveaways! RSVP here! #ReclaimingHome

Whole Wheat Bread

I started baking my own bread a few months ago. I am not much of a baker, so I thought it was going to be difficult. Turns out, it’s really easy, it just is time consuming; it takes about three hours from start to finish.  I started with the recipe for whole wheat bread from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (a book I highly recommend as it tells you the science behind baking, and it has recipes that WORK!), and I have worked with it until I feel I have perfected my whole wheat bread. I have very specific reasons for doing things the way I do, which I explain as I go.


  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (you can also use instant yeast)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp honey
  1. Fill a microwave safe 2-cup measuring cup with 1 1/2 cups of water. I microwave the water for 40 seconds to achieve the proper temperature. You may have to experiment with your microwave. You want the water +/- 3 degrees of 110° to activate the yeast. I pop a thermometer into the water and stir it while waiting for the temperature reading.
  2. Measure 1 1/2 teaspoons of the active dry yeast into a small bowl and using the water you just heated, pour about 2 teaspoons over the yeast and let it soak while you get the rest of the ingredients ready. If you are using instant yeast, just add the yeast to the flour.
  3. Measure 3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour into your mixing bowl.
  4. Add to the flour 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Using the dough hook, turn on the mixer for a few revolutions to mix the salt and flour (and instant yeast).
  5. For the next steps, I use the same tablespoon in order to reduce the amount of items I have to wash, so there is a specific order I do it in. Dip a tablespoon into the molasses (pouring makes a mess, I have found) and then dump the tablespoon into the water that is in the measuring cup. Stir it around until the molasses has left the spoon.
  6. Using the same tablespoon, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the water.
  7. Still using the same tablespoon, measure 4 tablespoons of honey into the water. If the honey starts to stick to the spoon, stir it in the water and get it coated in oil. (Only do this if you are pouring the honey. Never dip a dirty spoon into honey, it will contaminate the honey and cause it to go rancid. Pure honey never spoils, so be sure to keep your honey clean.)
  8. Pour all of the wet ingredients into the flour. I usually pour the yeast in first, and then use the rest of the liquids to rinse out the bowl the yeast was in to make sure I get all of the yeast.
  9. Mix on low long enough for all the ingredients to come together. Make sure there is no dry flour at the bottom of the mixer. I always have to use a spatula to scrape the flour down. Turn the mixer off and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to allow the flour to soak in the wet ingredients.
    1. The dough should be rough and sticky and slack and shiny. Depending on bread1your weather and the flour, you may need to add a little bit of water to get it to this consistency. I have discovered that I always need to add a little water, so when I fill the measuring cup, I go a smidge over the 1 1/2 cup mark and that has worked well for me. This is the part where you will have to experiment a few times to get the dough to the right consistency. Make note of the consistency of your dough that turned out a good loaf and try to achieve that each time you make bread.
  10. After the dough has rested for 20 minutes, turn the mixer on low and knead it for 10 minutes. When the dough comes together a little more, I will turn the mixer up a notch or two. You want the dough to be thumping, but you don’t want your mixer to walk off the counter. I never go past 4, and I usually stop at 3 for the speed.
  11. After kneading for 10 minutes, transfer the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for one hour until it doubles in size.
    1. While the dough is mixing I usually rip off a sheet of plastic wrap and set it on the counter before I grease the bowl, and then use my greased hands to grease the plastic wrap. That keeps the dough from sticking to the wrap.
  12. About 40 minutes into this first rise, I grease and flour my bread pan. I pour a small amount (about a teaspoon) of olive oil into the bread1-2pan and spread it around with my fingers first, then a paper towel. I used to just use my fingers, but I found I had too much oil left over in the pan. Don’t forget to grease the top ridge of the pan. Then put about a tablespoon of flour into the pan and shake it around until it has covered the entire pan. Then dump it upside down and pat it so the extra flour falls off. I then take a little more flour into my hand and run the edges of the pan in through the flour. This will make it so your loaf will pop out of the pan without any trouble.
  13. After the dough has doubled in sizebread2 and your loaf pan is ready, remove the plastic wrap and set it aside (you will use it again). Gently take the dough out of the bowl and form it into a loaf shape. At this point, I like to twist the dough a few times. It makes for a kind of lumpy top of the loaf, but gives it a softer, more uniform inside. Place the dough gently into the loaf pan and cover loosely with the plastic wrap. Let rise for another hour until it is one to two inches over the top of the pan. The plastic wrap will help smooth out the creases of the twist.
    1. At this point you want to be gentle with the dough. You’ve already beaten it to stretch the gluten strands, but now you want any air bubbles it has to remain as they help give the bread its softness.
  14. Preheat your oven to 350°. I usually set my timer for 40 minutesbread4 and at that point start the oven. I like my dough to be about an inch over the top of the pan. If it is more than that, the slices become cumbersome. Again, this is something you will have to experiment with. It all depends on your preferences and your loaf pan.
  15. Bake the bread at 350° for 45 minutes. Check the bread at 30 minutes. If it is browned to your liking, tent foil over the top for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  16. After 45 minutes, remove the bread from the oven. The internal temperature of the bread should be between 190° and 210°. After checking the temperature on my first few loaves, I no longer do, the 45 minutes is exactly the right amount of time for my oven.
  17. After removing the loaf from the oven, immediately turn the loaf out of the pan.bread6 If you have floured the pan well enough, it should pop right out. If it seems to be sticking, try gently pulling on the sides a bit, like rocking it back a forth, or take a knife and run it down the sides.
  18. Cool the loaf on a cooling rack with a towel over it. The towel will allow the heat to escape while keeping in enough of the moisture to keep the crust soft. If you like the crust harder, don’t put a towel over it.
  19. After the loaf has cooled you can cut it and put it in a bag. I usually cut it all at once just so I don’t have to keep cleaning the bread knife. We go through at least one loaf a week, so it doesn’t dry out.

Last tips

Storing the bread: I keep mine in our pantry. I used to keep it on our counter until we moved to a house with a pantry. I recommend NOT putting it on top of the fridge or in the fridge. Both places will dry the loaf out faster. You can freeze bread with great success. However, refrigerating bread causes the bread to dry out faster once removed from the fridge.

There is an adjustment period to baking bread. There are many different factors: weather, your oven, your loaf pan, the flour, etc. All that means is you will have to make quite a few loaves before you have your technique perfected. It took me two months, or about ten loaves, before I felt I had it down.

I have tried to double this recipe with little success, but only because my mixer isn’t big enough to handle the dough. If you have a large mixer, go ahead and try a double recipe (but I suggest you perfect your technique first!).

Use a timer that you can hear from all over your house. Three hours is a long time span and I usually forget I have bread rising until the timer rings. My LittleMan helped me out once and turned off the timer for me during the initial resting phase. The dough rose for an hour before I kneaded it. The loaf was a little more dense than usual.

On that note, if you make a mistake and you already have all the ingredients together (like you let it rise too long), just bake it anyway. See if it makes a difference. Experiment.

And have fun!bread5Happy baking!

Tea Party Birthday

I am of the old-school parenting style where small and simple parties for kids birthdays are the way to go. I love simple because simple works well (more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more).

CurlyGirl had a tea party for her birthday; she invited five friends who dressed up in their prettiest dresses and had a blast at her party. One of the girls told me very sincerely, “This is the absolutely best birthday party I have ever been to.”tpartylogo

Simple treats – these took me about 45 minutes to make. It wasn’t hard, just time consuming. I melted the chocolate in a double boiler, dipped the item, then shook the excess chocolate off and sprinkled on the non-pariels and placed it on a piece of parchment paper.  I call these “sugar dipped in sugar sprinkled with more sugar.” The cost for these treats was approximately $10.00.tparty01-01 tparty02-1

Decorating the table was simple. I used mis-matched dishes and tea cups and saucers. I bought plastic utensils for a dollar and “splurged” on the flowers ($15.00) because they will last until CurlyGirl’s actual birthday. The candy bracelets that I used as napkin rings were $3.00 for twelve.tparty03-1tparty04-1

The tea fare included apple slices, store bought cookies, petite carrots, cheese slices, strawberries, mini blueberry muffins, grapes, and peanut butter and jelly (strawberry or blackberry) sandwich flowers. I spent about $20.00 on the food. The longest prep time was spent on the darn little flower sandwiches, but it was worth it, because the girls loved the food.tparty05-1 tparty06-1

As a craft and party favor, the girls decorated hats to wear. Had I planned this party back in March, I could have picked up the hats for a dollar each, but as it was, they were only $2.00 each from Oriental Trading Company. I picked up five bunches of flowers from the dollar store. The girls thought making their own hats was fun and most of them didn’t want to take the hats off for any reason.tparty14-1

A gaggle of girls playing in CurlyGirl’s room.tparty12-1

My husband is an excellent baker and made these cupcakes for the birthday girl: lemon cake with purple frosting. Bonus: the sprinkles reminded her of the movie Frozen. We chose to go easy and buy cake in a box, so these cost about $6.00 to make.tparty17-1tparty18-1

Besides making hats, I taught the girls how to have proper table manners for tea, and gave a short ballet lesson. We finished the afternoon by watching Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella while they wait to be picked up.

In all, I spent about $75.00 on this little party. A few of the moms texted me to say their girls couldn’t stop talking about the party. I am pretty proud of myself for pulling off this party that was fun, simple, and inexpensive.

Dancing Through Life

I have been a fan of Candace Cameron Bure since I was a young mom. I had always kind of been a fan of hers since Full House, but it was when she actually took her faith seriously that I really started following her.

When I heard that she wrote a book about her journey to lose weight, I snapped it up. I was in a place where I needed my lifestyle to change, and so I was very encouraged while reading Reshaping It All. When her second book, Balancing it All, came out, I didn’t even care what it was about, I bought it and read it. I loved both books. They gave me encouragement and motivation to change and grow in many ways.

So I was excited to hear that she had written another book, this one about her time on Dancing With the Stars. When an opportunity came up to be on her launch team, I jumped on it and got accepted, and I am so honored to tell you about her newest book.

I have never watched Dancing With the Stars before, but when I heard Candace would be on Season 18, I watched religiously. I was impressed with how gracefully she handled herself when questioned about her beliefs that I voted for her as much as I possibly could; I wanted her to make it to the finals just so she could show the world what a real Christian looks like. There were times I cringed at the spin that the producers were trying to put on her words, but she was always able to correct any misconceptions with grace and conviction.

I think it is her conviction, more than anything else, that has made me continue to be a fan of hers over the years. In Dancing Through Life, she tells us how she came to have her unwavering conviction. 11753648_10207316851423324_4803858889684125517_n

What I like most about the book is how easy it is to read. It flows just like she’s having a conversation with you. And she is real, honest, and vulnerable; she doesn’t hide her flaws.

“I decided that I’d rather be the best Christian with all my flaws and be true to my walk than to live my life so that other people will feel like I’m making the right choices.”

The gospel message is clearly spelled out; I appreciate that she was a “good girl” who didn’t think she really needed saving. I was that way, even though I’ve been a Christian as long as I can remember. I never did anything really bad, so I felt that I never had a good testimony (in fact, when I was in college, I was told my testimony didn’t resonate with anyone because I hadn’t been worldly at all.)  Candace shows that you can have a good life and yet still need saving. (In the back of the book are appendices with great advice for finding a truth-centered church and growing your faith.)

If you’re a fan of Dancing With the Stars, you will enjoy reading about what Candace learned while she was on the show, and she tells a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff you didn’t see on the show. Even if you’re not a fan of the show, like me, you’ll still enjoy reading about her adventures. There is a section in the middle of color pictures of her dances, practices, and fun memories of her time while on Dancing.

11825123_10207376760161005_6765605789659705330_nI was so encouraged by Candace’s strong Christian stance on DWTS, and I have been even more encouraged by reading Dancing Through Life. When the hard times come, when your faith is challenged, when you get tired of running the race…stand with your convictions, lean on God, and choose to be joyful.

Cuteness of the Day

I told LittleMan to take a sock upstairs and put it in his laundry. He came and told me, “All done!”

I asked if he took it upstairs to the laundry or left it on the LittleMan wanted me to rub his feet while he played on the tablet.stairs. He had a look. You know the one. The look that tells me that he thinks he’s telling the truth because he’s only telling half of the truth.

“If I walk over to the stairs will I see the sock on them?” I ask.

“Noooooo.” He shakes his head firmly with big eyes. Ok, next question.

“If I go into your room, am I going to find the sock on the floor?”

His head cocks to the side, his finger taps his chin, eyes to the ceiling “Mmmmm”, and then he holds one finger up and says, “I’ll go check.”  Off he runs.

Full of such cuteness is that one.

And he knows it.

Cinderella in the Rain

Let me tell you about the night I just had.

The local college hosts an outdoor movie screening for four weeks in July. Before the movie there are bounce houses, special entertainment, vendors and food trucks. I thought it would be fun to take the kids to go see the newest live action version of Cinderella. Since my two youngest had taken short naps, and it hasn’t rained in three days, I thought it would be perfect.

The evening started off great. We got there about 30 minutes after the events started. We brought food and after we ate part of it (the kids were too excited to eat much), we went and played. It was about 85° and 90% humidity; all three kids were dripping sweat within 10 minutes. Fortunately, the time went quickly. Some friends came and sat with us, we watched a ballet company perform, played on the playground and bounced in the blowups.

Did I mention that my husband is out-of-town and so I was doing this by myself? No? Well. How forgetful of me.

CinderellaInTheRainThey decided to start the movie about 20 minutes early because it was cloudy and getting dark. Just as the movie started, the rain began. At first, it was just big drops, but a few minutes later a lot of people were packing up to leave. I had brought all of our umbrellas and the radar was showing that the rain was going to be over quick, so I decided to stay. It soon stopped. And then it started again. At one point, it rained pretty good and most everyone who didn’t have some protection left.

The kids didn’t mind at all. It was still in the 80’s and we had blankets and umbrellas to cover us. My LittleMan was tired, but he was happy laying on the ground, head on a pillow, shielded by the umbrella and covered by a blanket. Eldest wasn’t too thrilled with the “girly” movie and wanted to catch fireflies. CurlyGirl was enthralled with the movie and didn’t notice anything going on around her.

By the way, during the heaviest rain, I had been leaning forward in my chair so I could share the umbrella with LittleMan who was in his own chair at the time. I wasn’t thinking too clearly because the rain dripped down the back of the umbrella and soaked the seat of my chair, which I then scooted back onto. Honestly, I did not pee my pants, it was from the puddle on my chair!!

The rain finally stopped, but 20 minutes later the wind picked up. I haven’t lived in Kentucky long, but I do know this: a strong wind precedes a storm. When I felt the first sprinkle I decided to pack up. And just as Cinderella got to the ball, too.

Poor CurlyGirl was absolutely devastated. She bawled all the way to the van. I was a bit irritated by her carrying on, but I understood, so I tried to gentle my irritation. We got into the van and I looked around the parking lot – there weren’t a whole lot of cars left, and there was plenty of space to park where we could see the screen. So I moved the van and we settled in happily to watch the rest of the movie.

Well, just before the wicked stepmother locks Cinderella in the attic, the movie stopped and an announcement was made that severe thunderstorms were coming. Sigh. I was glad we were already in the van though, because before I pulled out of the parking lot, big drops were falling.

We made it home peacefully. CurlyGirl, surprisingly, wasn’t too upset at not getting to watch the entire movie. I told the kids that as soon as we got home they were to go upstairs and get ready for bed; it was 10:30, three hours past their normal bedtime.

As I was unloading all of the wet stuff from the back of the van, the two bigs were dawdling inside the house. I was starting to get irritated, but I knew they were tired, so I tried to gently encourage them to get moving. It was while I was brushing LittleMan’s teeth that I finally lost it, though. Eldest came into the bathroom with a letter from the mail that had been sitting on the kitchen counter. He told me that it wasn’t for us. I was so irritated with him at that moment that I couldn’t say anything for a second (it should have been a lot longer), the other two were almost ready for bed and he was reading mail that I couldn’t do anything about at that moment??? Grrrrrrr. When I finally did speak, it was pure poison coming out of my mouth. I could hear my ugliness and I was hating myself as it was coming out, but I couldn’t stop it.

I angrily sent him back downstairs and proceeded to finish brushing little teeth. When he came up and started playing in his room instead of getting ready for bed, I was so furious that again the verbal vomit spewed forth.

Somewhere in the back of my head I knew that all of the attitudes were due to everyone being extremely tired, disappointed, wet and cold. I finally managed to stop spewing and get myself under control. I read a quick book and kissed the kids goodnight.

They all were asleep within five minutes.

I on the other hand, couldn’t sleep. Not only was there a thunderstorm brewing, but my poor attitude made me regretful.


As I reflected on the evening, I saw numerous times when I could have lost my cool and didn’t. I chose to have fun on a hot, sweaty, rainy evening outdoors, and I did have fun. My kids all had fun. And we’ll probably do it again.

Next time I’ll be a little more prepared for my late night acerbic-ness and hopefully I can stop it before it happens.

Motherhood has a steep learning curve. I’ve been trying to be more mindful of how I am speaking to my kids. And the last few days I have actually done pretty good. Again, I always fail just as I’m patting myself on the back. But that’s part of the learning curve.

The best way to make amends is to apologize, to my kids and to God. And then tomorrow is always a new day.

The storm last night not only washed away our movie viewing, but it also cleaned our muddy blanket I had laid outside. See? There is always a silver lining.

Linking up at A Little R & R

Show . . . Choose . . . Be.

My last post was written the day I was starting a Mom Heart group, which no one showed up to. Ha.

I am not discouraged, however. I just know the time isn’t right and that I need to make real connections.  I will be starting up a group with two of my neighbors soon. In the meantime, I have been striving to spend time with God. And you know what? I’ve been a bit of a better mommy. Not always, but I have found that the days that I commit time to God, I am better able to handle the same stressful situations with a bit more grace.

My motto is SHOW grace, CHOOSE joy, BE love. I cannot do those things without God.Theme grace joy love

I just started reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to CraveShe talks about finding your “want to”, and what I want to do is have the type of relationship with God where I hear him talk to me, where everything I say and do reflects Him; I want to show grace, choose joy and be love.

Again, I am encouraging you, ladies, SPEND TIME DAILY WITH GOD! I cannot stress enough (to you and to myself) that life is much easier to deal with when you are walking with God.

Confession Time

Tonight is the first night of my Mom Heart group – a group I am leading to refresh the hearts of fellow moms. I am leading us through the book Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson.

It had been a good day; the kids had behaved well, we got school done easily, I felt prepared for the ladies to come tonight, and dinner was cooking. I was kind of patting myself on the back for having it all together. The kids were playing together nicely when my husband came home early and offered to take one of them with him on a quick errand, but they were having so much fun that none of them wanted to go. So he left.

Then all went to pieces. My daughter started screeching that the boys weren’t letting her have something. So I set them all to running 30 laps around the house (this is often my strategy to get their energy out when it’s raining outside). CurlyGirl fell on the 5th lap and started throwing a fit not worthy of her hurt. So I sent her upstairs.

The boys finished their 30 laps and I told them to read a book so I could finish dinner. They fought over the book, the library book ripped, and when Eldest brought me the book, he knocked over the vase of flowers on the counter. I went ballistic.

After I had vented my frustration on the counter and yelled, I sent Eldest upstairs and confined LittleMan to the couch without a book.

Really? Everything had been going so good today! Why is it all falling apart now? Why am I falling apart?

I took some deep breaths and prayed. I sat down alone to compose myself. Then I went upstairs to apologize to my two oldest whom I had yelled at.

CurlyGirl was first – I apologized for yelling at her, asked her how she was doing. She was fine. I asked her to be careful and pay attention to where she is going. This was the 6th time in a week that she had fallen because she wasn’t paying attention (three of the times were pretty major with blood or bruises). I apologized again, gave her a hug, and sent her downstairs.

Then I went in to her older brother. I apologized to Eldest as well. I knew he didn’t knock over the vase on purpose. I was just frustrated, so I yelled. He forgave me and hugged me and went downstairs a happy child.

I know I am not a perfect mom, and lest any of you think that, I am telling you this story. I over-reacted to my kids’ childishness with anger. Had I been filling my heart with God’s word instead of Facebook or TV, I might not have reacted so (I still may have been angry, but I might have had more self-control).

Today was a lesson to me that 1) I need to spend time DAILY reading the Bible, 2) Life has a way of humbling one just when I think I have it all together.Eph 4-23

Mommyhood is Like A Rollercoaster: Encouragement for the Weary Mom

Mommyhood is like a rollercoaster.  There are lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, it’s fun and yet terrifying, and sometimes you just want the coaster to stop so you can get off.

I love being a mom, but I get weary. The days when my littles are needy, bickering, whining, and wreaking havoc in the house wear me down. Add to that the household chores that build up even as I am trying to conquer them.

When you first become a mom, you are tired. All. The. Time. There’s tired, and then there’s weary. The tired mom just wants to sleep through the night. The weary mom just wants to make it through the day, only to face another tomorrow with the same weariness. (And looking at all the “happy” moms on social media just makes matters worse.)


What’s a mom to do when her spirit is weary? How is the weary mom to refresh her spirit? If you grow weary when times are troubled, your strength is limited. ~Proverbs 24:10

So how do we renew our strength? The last few verses of Isaiah 40 tell us: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary; and his understanding cannot be fathomed. He’s the one who gives might to the faint, renewing strength for the powerless…Those who keep waiting for the Lord will renew their strength. ~Isaiah 40:28-31

Those who wait on the Lord will have their strength renewed. And the best news? God never gets weary. We can completely lean on him to renew our weary souls. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in parched places, and they will strengthen your bones, and you’ll be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. ~Isaiah 58:11

I’m sure you know Proverbs 3:4-5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. But have you read verses 7 and 8? They tell us how to be refreshed: Do not be wise in your own opinion. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.

Isaiah 58:11

Some more verses to help refresh your weary soul.

When I called out, you answered me, you strengthened me. The Lord will complete what his purpose is for me. Lord, your gracious love is eternal; do not abandon your personal work in me. ~Psalm 138:3, 8

The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in parched places, and they will strengthen your bones, and you’ll be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. ~Isaiah 58:11

My absolute favorite “Mommy Verses”: Let us not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest–if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith. ~Galatians 6:9-10

Personalize this: When you’re weary, first thing, go to God. Let him refresh your soul. Pick a verse to write out and put it somewhere you will see it frequently. Then find a way to take care of your needs every week. For me, I need some alone time out of the house every week, either by myself or with a friend. Figure out what you need to keep yourself refreshed and tell your husband so he can help you.

Apply in real life: How can you help your weary friend? Paul writes to Philemon and says, “I have received considerable joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed, brother, through you.”  We can help refresh the hearts of our weary friends just by loving them. Let her know you are thinking of her and praying for her; bring her some coffee or whatever her chosen form of caffeine may be. And in doing so, you will refresh yourself! Proverbs 11:25 says that those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed!

Take it to my kids: Kids know when mom is weary, they can tell something is wrong. Sometimes everybody just needs a break. Pile your kids into the car and go find an adventure. Get together with another mom friend and let your kids play. Don’t let the weariness get you and your kids down.