Grace For Hard Times

Many of us are embarking on a new (or newish) journey this fall, whether it is homeschooling, distance learning or keeping our kids safe in a school environment. Or maybe we are starting a new job, a new goal, or a new commitment. I don’t know about you but when I start something new and it’s hard, I feel like I’m failing.

Like I’m not cut out for this.

Like I want to quit.

But thats normal, right?

God’s Voice or Someone Else’s?

When we start something new all the self-doubting happens and it ain’t nothin’ but the devil. Here’s a quick way to see if you should listen to these voices:

The voice I always hear is the one that rushes me. I often feel behind and push myself to hurry, hurry, hurry.

Balm to the Soul

Today I was watching the Do it On a Dime YouTube channel (I love it) and she was making an episode about distance learning. She talked about how she had such a hard time with it starting last March even though she has a master’s degree in teaching and she was beating herself up about it. But she heard advice from someone (I don’t remember who) that said find a picture of yourself when you were little , like age 5 or younger. Now say the same hurtful thoughts to that little girl, go on, berate her. Tell her :

Who are you to think you can do this?

What are you thinking?

You’re not capable !

You should know better because you have a degree!

If you were any good you’d be better at this.

But I bet you can’t. I bet you can’t talk to her like that. Because she is precious. She is adorable. She is a child. And you my friend, are a child too. A child or God. This is the way God sees us. So I got out my picture. I spoke to the little girl how I talk to myself. I said :

You are doing so good

You are trying so hard.

This is so hard but you can do it.

You’ve got this.

And I cried. It was like a drink of cool water after being thirsty for so long. In came God’s grace, God’s peace. God’s healing for my wounded soul.

More beautiful quotes

Who doesn’t benefit from more encouraging words? (Can you tell words of affirmation are my love language?)

My Summer 2020 Favorite Things

Just for fun here’s a list of my favorite things that I’ve purchased or enjoyed this summer.

Alexa Dot – I got this for my husband’s birthday gift and he’s really enjoying it. We hooked it up to smart light bulbs so we can turn some lights around the house on and off.

Soap holder- I got this at Dollar Tree and it’s working great to hold my sponge in the kitchen sink

Dollar Tree command hooks – I’ve been using these everywhere around my house. Inside kitchen cabinets, in the kid’s bathroom so they can reach their towels, in the kid’s bedroom so they can reach their bathrobes. It’s perfect for them!

City of New Orleans song – this is just such a feel good song.

Clutterbug podcast – I always get so inspired by her podcasts. Also her new show is awesome too!

Blogging on my phone – this has been crucial in me being able to blog more. The WordPress app is awesome. Right now to make blogging easier since I’m so busy it’s the only way.

Schwann’s – I was going to have a meal prep party to get me through the newborn phase but then something called Covid-19 happened, so I rediscovered Schwann’s.  It’s been so nice to have delicious frozen food delivered!

Your Blue Flame by Jennifer Fulwiler – this book is super inspiring and it will make you want to pursue your dreams.

Our quiet time shed- my husband and I got an insane deal on a shed. We wanted one so we could have a place to go to chill out and have some quiet time to read, write, workout, etc.

Antique Compote Serving Bowl- I saw this at an antique shop and my husband went back and got it for me.

My herb garden – I’ve never been good with plants but this time around I’m really trying to learn. It helps that my plants are always in my sight right above my kitchen sink. I’m growing basil, oregano, mint, parsley, and rosemary. Outside I have some green onions. I had cilantro and lavender but they both died sadly.

In Awe by John O’Leary – this book inspires you to live a life of wonder and remember what is essential around you.

Fabulous50s workout videos – I found these on YouTube. The lady who makes them is Australian and she has such a lovely accent. It’s intended for women over 50 but I don’t care I just really enjoy watching her.

Ninja blender- our old blender bir the dust so we had to buy a new one and we wanted to make sure it was good quality. enter the Ninja blender. We got it at Costco and let me tell you the name is so appropriate. There are three blade. THREE. This thing is a ninja, people. After making 10 million frappuccinos in my life having worked 11 years at Starbucks, I know a thing or two about blenders. I highly recommend it!

This quote –

Dollar Tree craft supplies – Dollar Tree has really amped up their craft section, check it out! I made this :

If Something’s Not Working…

I’m about to start my journey as an official homeschooling mom.

I’m nervous.

I’m excited.

And I’m a little overwhelmed. I have perfectionist tendencies and I’m always trying to find the perfect routine. But routines are supposed to bring order and peace not stress and anxiety. So if something’s not working…

Make a List

It’s not time to shame and blame yourself. It’s not time to try harder. It’s time to be objective about your time.

List all your basic duties and overestimate how long they take to give yourself grace. Lately I have been feeling like I’m falling behind on my duties so I decided to do this.

You’ll Be Shocked

Guess what? Even without including time for cleaning the house (not tidying , dishes, laundry I’m talking about scrubbing and vacuuming) it said I need 3.5 more hours in my day.

3.5 more hours. 3.5 MORE HOURS! THAT’S INSANE! But it also makes me feel better. I know that it makes sense why I feel stressed. Because i *actually* am doing a lot.

Here’s What You Gotta Do

So what to do? I need to base my daily schedule on the reality of the day. If things are missed that need to get done that week I will allot time on Saturday as my catch-up day. I used to have the whole weekend freed up because I got my work done in the week but my life is different now. I’m homeschooling and I have a new baby. Time to adjust.

It’s Not All Up To You

I heard recently something like “when did we start working for our kids instead of with them?” AMEN SISTER! Remember Little House on the Prairie? Mrs. Ingles didn’t run around doing everything while her kids relaxed. They worked with her according to their capability.

I will also delegate more things to my kids and consider a meal planning service or cleaning service as my budget allows. I also need to decide what truly needs to get done weekly and what can be done less frequently. I always miss cleaning my car and I feel bad about it. Well maybe it’s time to schedule a day once per month to do it. Same thing with meal planning , detail cleaning, decluttering etc.


I also plan on leaving ample wiggle room and white space to give myself grace. No more rigid schedules. I have kids. I need a routine. When this is done we will do this, then when that’s done, we will do this. We will, however, break for meals. Also, I will allow screen time as I see fit. If it’s before 3 pm I will make sure it’s educational and ask my kids questions about it. I will use it at a tool so I can get some focus time or as a reward.

Funny Thing is…

After one day of doing things differently I actually feel like I was MORE productive and far less anxious. I had mental space to delegate things for my kids to do and didn’t feel overwhelmed teaching them about it. I even took them to a park (not playground it’s still Covid-19 lockdown sadly) which I didn’t plan originally. I had time to do fun things like browse Thredup. I had some time to rest. I prepped dinner for the next night. I call that a win, my friends.

Mix and Match to Create Your Own Diet/Fitness Plan

Like many people, I would like to lose some weight. And I am not one of those people who starts a new diet and then in the first week they lose 15 lbs. I’m lucky if I am extremely faithful to the diet and I lose 1 lb in two weeks. It doesn’t matter if I am trying Paleo, keto, calorie restricting or intermittent fasting.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I think it’s beneficial to create your own plan for fitness and weight loss . Combine different philosophies and mix them all together and you will probably come up with a plan that will last long term because it will cater to you as an individual and it will coinside with your nature.

My Plan

Remember I said I have a hard time losing weight? My theory is my body goes into starvation mode after calorie restricting for so long so my weight loss plateaus or I actually gain weight. If we lived in cave man times this would be great for survival.

But we don’t. So it’s just annoying.

So what I am doing right now is:

  • Metabolic confusion – 2 high carb days and 5 low carb days. Wednesday and Saturday are my high carb days.
  • Unavoidable exceptions – if there is a celebration or surprise or some other unexpected occurrence, my rule is that I will fast until from dinner until lunch time the next day, and make that day a low carb day.
  • On low carb days I try to be as close to keto as possible but maybe allow one fruit or 1 slice of whole grain bread. If I have carbs its minimal and it is a whole grain or fruit.
  • I track my food in my fitness pal. On low carb days I eat 1450 calories. High carb days 1750.
  • If I am having a super stressful day I will let myself go over my calories. If I haven’t kept track all day I just try to make healthy choices and follow the tricks in “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” I eat small portions . I drink lots of water. I move my body. I eat dessert but moderate amount. If I am out to dinner I only eat half of it’s a large portion.
  • I do a HIIT workout on high carb days and a regular cardio or toning workout on low carb days.
  • I only weigh myself once a month. This keeps me from getting discouraged when the scale doesn’t budge or even shows weight gain.
  • I plan to reward myself with a small gift for my weight loss milestones . Something that will reinforce positive behaviors and habits I am trying to cultivate int my life. For example, I just bought a morning routine audiobook.
  • Even when calorie restricting I try to be balanced in my food choices. I learned this from a dietician when I had glucose intolerance. Each meal should have a protein , starch, and a either fruit or dairy. I can always have as many non-starchy vegetables as I want. On low-carb days I just choose starches and fruits that have fewer carbs.

Does it work?

So far, yes! I lost 6 lbs my first month. My plan is sustainable and suits my lifestyle, my temperment, my personality and it tells me actions to take when the inevitable happens. It prescribes how to handle setbacks and failures without getting derailed. It allows me to focus on my progress and not feel bad about not being perfect. It has flexibility and I actually like it. If it’s time to have a dessert I can do so without guilt because I have already decided when it’s time to have a dessert.