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If you’ve recently become your child’s new teacher, life has changed very quickly this past week. It's crazy how quickly things can change!


Last week I scrambled to put together a home school schedule to keep my boys engaged while trying to keep up with work, tasks and my good habits… it didn’t go as peacefully and smoothly as I envisioned. Honestly, lots of things didn’t get done and it left me feeling kind of stressed about how I was going to pull this off.


As I’ve looked back at this week I came up with a couple of recommendations and truths to help me find my new groove. These were basically reminders for myself, but I thought they were worth sharing since many of you are moms in the same situation as me.


EAT FOOD. I know it’s obvious. BUT ARE YOU EATING ENOUGH REAL FOOD (not junk & snacks)?! It’s easy to forget about yourself when your busy taking care of the kids AND trying to get things done. Trust me, this week I’ve had many days of skipping meals - surviving on @simplemills crackers and apples - while caring for the boys and trying to keep up with my tasks. BUT it NEVER works to my advantage. Skipping meals drains my energy and my mood, making it a lot harder for me to be efficient, happy and patient (three things that I need to be while balancing homeschooling and working from home.)


GET SOME SLEEP. We know that when our kids don’t get enough sleep, they are cranky. The same is true for us. No matter what your age, your body needs sleep to function optimally. I’ve definitely had too many late nights this week, staying up late to get the things done. But it’s left me cranky and easily agitated, definitely not worth it.

DRINK WATER. Early symptoms of dehydration can include irritability, tiredness, headache, dizziness… um, NO THANKS!

Truth: Taking care of these basic physical needs reduces your stress, increases your energy, improves your mood and equips you to handle all the things that life throws your way…


GIVE MYSELF SOME GRACE

Truth: If you’re schedule has changed (i.e. you are now your kid’s teacher) and you now have less time to spend on work and tasks, you probably won’t get all the things done - And THAT’S OK! Remember, your worth is not based on how many things you get done (your worth is rooted simply in being a child of God!). Realize that it will take time to adjust to your new rhythm of life. Give yourself some grace to readjust. It’s OK to let the laundry and email wait.


CONNECT WITH GOD IN MY EVERYDAY MOMENTS

Truth: Connecting with God doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. God cherishes every attempt we make to reach out and connect with Him. This school year I’ve had plenty of (quiet) time to devout to praying, studying the word and connecting with God. Nurturing my relationship with God has been monumental in my personal journey; It’s grounded me in love and truth, helped me to be more patient, kinder and compassionate, helped me become a better wife, mother and friend. But with the kids home and me taking on the job of teacher, my personal quiet time is basically non-existent. For me, it’s so important to continuing to grow my relationship with God. While time is limited, I’m focusing on intentionally inviting God into my everyday moments: worshiping while I’m doing the dishes, praying with my boys throughout the day, family devotions over breakfast, talking about the ‘things of God’. These little moments can have a big impact.


CONNECT WITH MY BOYS WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS

Truth: Kids thrive when they have positive attention and connection. Sometimes I mistake ‘being with my kids’ as ‘connecting with my kids’. (Afterall, if I was with them all day I must have connected with them, right?!) This week I spent lots of time in the house with my kids. We went over school work. We did crafts and experiments and played. But for much of that time I was distracted. I was distracted with what’s going on in our country, with social media and tasks that need to be done. Although I was physically with my boys, for much of the time, I wasn’t truly connecting. I’ve been known to fall into this trap, so I’ve learned to be very intentional about spending undistracted time with my family. I’ve found that the boys’ behavior and attitudes are greatly improved when I make it a point to give them my full attention and truly engage with them throughout the day. When I take moments to connect with them (without distractions) they feel loved and understood. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of quality time can bring about positive change! (No number of folded laundry baskets could outweigh that goodness!)


ITS OK TO LET My KIDS HAVE EXTRA SCREEN TIME AS I ADJUST MY SCHEDULE

Truth: Letting your kids watch TV does not make you a bad Mom… Ok, I’m not sure how many Moms this really speaks to, but this one certainly speaks to me! I’ve always had a dysfunctional relationship with screens: I love them because they keep my kids distracted, making it easier for me to get things done. I hate them because they keep my kids distracted from real life and I much rather them play with toys, do a craft, read a book or basically anything else (except keep me from getting the thing done lol.)

But this week I had to re-accept the truth that letting my kids use screens doesn’t make me a bad mom. Of course, my goal is to be engaged with my kids throughout the day and limit screen time. But I can’t rank my ‘performance’ as a mom based on how much screen time my kids have (in fact I shouldn’t be ‘ranking’ myself at all!) Sometimes I need to compromise… If a little extra screen time gives me some breathing room while I try to figure out a new rhythm of life, that’s a win.


DANCE EVERY DAY:

Truth: Dancing reduces anxiety and stress and improves coping ability and overall sense of well-being. DANCE PARTY?! YES PLEASE! Dancing is a great way to have fun with your kids. It creates a fun atmosphere, improves your energy and is a great way to get some exercise. This week when we needed a break, we cranked up the techno music (my boys are into techno right now) and we danced it out. I was amazed at how much better I felt instantly! I might not have been able to get my normal work outs in, but this was a great replacement and super fun!


When time is sparse it’s important to know your priorities and know God’s priorities for your life. It helps to keep you focused and spend your time in a way that brings life and goodness. I know God doesn’t want me stressed out and striving. So, I’m taking it one step at a time and focusing on my basics: nurturing my relationships with God and with my family, nourishing my body and walking in love (or dancing in love). Of course, my goal is to get other things done too (first on my list is keeping up with homeschooling!). But I know if I focus on the basics and build a strong foundation first, the other things will come more easily.

How is your homeschooling experience going so far? What’s worked for you this week? I’d love to hear tips from other Moms!

Ever since the holidays I've been a bit sluggish. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner it's easy for me to recognize that I need to give my liver a little love. Today, I posted a picture on Instagram of some foods I'm eating that support my liver. I wanted to follow up by giving you a list of what foods you could include to give your liver a little love too...


The liver is an amazing organ! Responsible for so many functions; from processing proteins, carbohydrates and fats, converting stored fat into energy, detoxifying harmful toxins neutralizing excess hormones and more - If the liver isn’t functioning optimally, the body isn’t functioning optimally.

That’s why it’s so important to support it with the nutrients it needs to thrive!


If you're feeling sluggish, have cravings, can't sleep, have symptoms of PMS or if you're a breathing human, you could probably use some liver support.



1 Corinithians 6:19 tells us "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."


Your body is a temple and like any magnificent temple, it requires some up-keeping and cleaning. If it's time for a spring cleaning, start with some foods that help your liver clean out all the junk your body accumulates.

"Mother's are like glue, even when you can't see them, they're still holding the family together." - Susan Gale


I love this quote, but at the same time I hate this quote. These words encompass both the beauty and the pressure of being a mother.

As a mom, I often find myself believing that it is my duty to hold it all together. After all, when I stop trying to hold it all together, it’s then that it all seems to come falling down… The house is a mess, the kids are overtired and fighting and hungry, I’m tired, hungry and cranky and my husband and I are getting stressed because everyone’s acting CRAZY.


So, I try my best to hold it all together; I try to create a perfectly balanced schedule… not too much screen time, enough time outside, play time, nap time, extracurricular activities; I try to create a perfectly balanced diet… vitamins and minerals that will help my kids to grow and my family to thrive, food that they will actually eat; I try to create habits and routines like chore time, prayer time, family fun day that will keep us all balanced emotionally and spiritually. I try to create a plan that will keep my home, my family and our life happy and peacefu



I try to do what’s best for my family. I try to do all the things. But I often find myself worrying… are the kids getting too much screen time? Is that show they’re watching appropriate? Are they eating enough? Are they doing enough? Are they doing too much?

Are they happy enough? Are they spoiled? Do they have enough responsibility? Am I teaching them the right lessons? Is my husband happy? AM I DOING ENOUGH TO HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER?... How can I possibly hold all of this together?!


Do you ever feel this way? The truth is, YOU DON'T HAVE TO hold it all together. YOU are NOT meant to hold it all together. You can strive and struggle in your own strength and knowledge to find the prefect way, but there is an easier way. A way that doesn’t leave you stressed and overwhelmed... You have a savior who is all powerful and all knowledgeable who holds it all together and you do not have to do His job.

The bible tells us in Colossians 1:17 “…He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”


Not only does He hold ALL things together, but he promises to hold YOUR things together by ensuring you and your family have the things that you need.



Matthew 6:26 illustrates how our heavenly Father cares for us. “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow not reap nor gather into barns, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”



Jesus tells us, we are not to worry or be anxious about the cares of this life because our heavenly Father knows our needs and He will be sure they are taken care of.


Matthew 6:31 says “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? Or ‘what shall we drink? Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”


Instead, He gives us a different focus – “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”


If you’re a busy Mom like me, you may be thinking “But I don’t have time to ‘seek the kingdom of God’! I barely have time to take care of my daily responsibilities!”


God knows we are busy and he knows our responsibilities can be overwhelming. That is exactly why He urges us to seek His kingdom. When we seek the Kingdom of God, it has the power to transform everything about our lives. When we seek the kingdom of God, we receive the fruits of His spirit:

Fear is replaced with faith. We are able to let go of the worry of what will happen if we’re not able to hold it all together. Instead we have faith in God’s plan and we trust that His plan for us, for our children and for our loved ones is good.


Impatience and impulsiveness are replaced with patience, kindness, gentleness and goodness. We are gentler with our children and kinder to our spouse. The love of Jesus radiates through our homes.


Sadness and discontent are replaced with joy and peace. Even when we walk through struggle and pain, we are able to see the goodness in our lives.


The Holy Spirit begins to move in our lives. We can see the hand of God working in our circumstances. We begin to decipher His voice. We can turn to Him for guidance and wisdom in all things and He will direct us.


God tells us to seek His kingdom because there is power, knowledge and wisdom in His truths. Through His Holy Spirit His knowledge and wisdom empower us to gracefully, bravely and wisely walk through whatever life brings. You don’t have to worry that your wisdom and knowledge are not good enough, you have the opportunity to seek God and ask Him what the next right step is.


James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”



God tells us to seek His kingdom because He offers us rest. You don’t have to strive in your own strength (eventually you will get weary). You can seek God and He will be your strength. You can do all things through Him who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13)


Set your focus on the kingdom of Jesus and His Holy Spirit will equip you to be a better Mom and Wife. He will show you how to be a better employee or business owner. He will enable you to be a better friend and sister. He will empower you to be the woman He has created you to be.


You don't need to worry, struggle and strive to hold it all together. Turn to Jesus who holds all things together. When you need wisdom, knowledge, grace or patience, seek His kingdom and all these things will be added unto you!


At the Nourished Mom my mission is to help you apply biblical truths to your life. Sure, it sounds great, but how do you live this out? Let’s break this down and talk about real, practical steps you can take to seek the kingdom of God.


First of all, what does it even mean to seek the kingdom of God?...

The original Greek word used in Matthew 6:33 is translated as: to seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquirer into. We can seek God simply by finding out who he is (His character) and thinking through, His lessons, examples and commandments. The bible is our best resource when it comes to seeking God.


Start by setting goals to create habits that enable you to learn more about God.

Some simple habits to start include:

Reading the bible

Journaling and thinking about what you read and what it means to you

Memorizing bible verses

Remembering/reciting bible verses when you need wisdom or support

Praying

Listening to Christian music

Discuss what you learn with others

Seeking God doesn’t have to be an elaborate, complicated pursuit. God meets us in our everyday moments. How we seek God will look a little different for each person. For you, seeking God could be reciting scripture while nursing your newborn or singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ with your toddler. Maybe it could be listening to a sermon while you fold laundry or letting your kids watch a TV show while you read the bible and journal. Perhaps it’s listening to Christian music on your commute to work or memorizing scripture over your lunch break. The key is to make this doable and practical for your life.

I’ve created a step by step action plan worksheet that you can apply to your life right away.


Be sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook for more practical ways to apply biblical principals to your life!


In love and health,

Brandy


DISCLAIMER:  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN MY COURSES, POSTS , ON MY WEBSITE AND IN ALL MATERIALS IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS INFORMATION HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PREVENT, DIAGNOSE, TREAT OR CURE ANY CONDITION. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR  HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHEN BEGINNING ANY DIET OR LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS.

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© 2018 By Brandy Coffin 

The Nourished Mom

Blackstone, Ma 01504

Brandy@TheNourishedMom.com