Found: An Interview with Micha Boyett {Part 2}

Here is part two of my fascinating interview with Micha Boyett, author of Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer, releasing next week!

Before you read below, check out my thoughts on this fabulous book and part one of our interview, including more about how Micha discovered the Benedictine way.

foundcoverE: You are the mother to TWO boys now. How has your journey of prayer + motherhood continued or changed with a second child in the house?

Micha: Having a second kid magnified the intensity of motherhood for me: More love. More stress. More anxiety. More insecurity.

I have a friend who says she never really felt like a grown up until she had her second baby. I totally get that. Having one child is hard, but you can still feel capable of giving yourself fully to your child. There’s this moment after your second child is born when both are crying and you have to choose which one you will comfort. And you realize this is a metaphor for life from now on!

I have had to learn that I am not enough for my kids. And I’ve had to learn to trust God with my own inabilities as a mom. I cannot hold both my children at the same time. And the older they get, the more I realize that I cannot always rescue them. I have to trust that God’s grace fills in the gaps.

That sort of growing up has reverberated out into my prayer life. More is demanded of me. Therefore, I have to be more protective of the kind of mom I’m going to be for my kids. The changes have really been pretty simple. I go to bed earlier now. I expect less of myself. I allow myself to get the sleep I need. And then I wake up really early so I can pray. Waking up early to pray is much easier when you’re not up all hours of the night trying to be a super hero.

And when I don’t wake up early and I don’t spend time in prayer, I actually believe that God continues to love me, that God is still here with me, that I’m still being remade, even though I didn’t live up to some spiritual ideal. That’s the biggest change that has happened for me. I learned to extend God’s grace to myself and, through that, to my kids.

 

E: Do you include your husband or children in the Benedictine prayers?

Micha: The Benedictine monks and nuns mostly emphasize the Psalms during their daily prayers. (Modern-day monks usually pray through the entire book of Psalms every two weeks.) They also practice a kind of prayer called Lectio Divina, in which you read through scripture in a slower, less intellectual, more heart-driven way. There are a couple of scenes in the book where I pray using Lectio Divina.

I still practice Lectio Divina. I’ve just begun meeting with a group of friends (other moms) once a month for Lectio. And I still use the Psalms in my prayer life, though I don’t have a specific schedule of Psalms like I did in my story.

I love to emphasize the Psalms with my kids, especially my oldest, who really feels things deeply the way I do. I discovered a beautiful children’s book of Psalms—Psalms for Young Children. It emphasizes the whole gamut of emotions in the Psalms in a tender, gentle way that my kids really get. So we read through them when they’re feeling worried or sad.

But more than how I include my husband or my kids in the way I pray, I think the bigger change St. Benedict’s Rule has made in my life will be through my character, my sense of peace. I’m much more at ease with the “ordinariness” of this season of my life. I’m at peace with how I use my time and how God loves me. And I think my boys and my husband experience that on a daily basis. I’m a different mom than I was three years ago, because the Benedictines helped me learn to believe that God’s is finding me, restoring me, here, right now. That has really changed everything.

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E: In the book, you say, “My life has value because God has touched every mundane moment with the glow of holiness.” How do you remember to find that holiness in the mundane?

Micha: Some days I remember to look for it and some days I don’t. In the book I talk about “paying attention” and I really believe that gratitude is the beginning and ending of that process of noticing God in my ordinary life. On the days when I feel like a failure as a mom, or a friend, or a follower of Jesus, I’m learning to start back in the most basic place: gratitude. Even if I don’t know how to pray, I know how to thank God for my three-year-old’s laugh or for pieces of avocado on my slice of toast. And as soon as begin attributing the good in my life to God, I begin to see the holiness of my life again.

You can find links to buy Found and the other books recommended here. And join us tomorrow for part two of my interview with Micha!

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photo credit: Mark Kuroda Photography

Micha (pronounced “MY-cah”) Boyett is a writer, blogger, and sometimes poet.  A former youth minister, she’s passionate about monasticism and ancient Christian spiritual practices and how they inform the contemporary life of faith. Her first book Found: A Story Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer is available now on Amazon and will be in stores April 1. Boyett and her husband live in San Francisco with their two boys. Find her on TwitterFacebook, and at michaboyett.com

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Found: An Interview with Micha Boyett {Part 1}

I would love to have you join me at Thrive Moms today to read more about the questions I’m asking God and myself about motherhood!

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I’ve been devouring books lately because there are SO. MANY. GOOD. ONES. coming out this spring and I’ve had the privilege of reading several advance copies. I honestly can’t get enough reading time and when I do, I just want to read and read and read these gems.

One of the first of this spring delivery of words I read was Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett. I didn’t know of Micha before I stumbled upon her book in the faith section of a review site. It was a total God-thing I found her there because her words spoke straight to me heart.

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Found is a story of purpose and motherhood and chaos and quiet and so much questioning with which I could absolutely relate. What happens to our faith when we’re doing something different than we ever thought was in the plan? How do we approach the feelings of insignificance in our current role? Where do we find the time and space for Him when little ones are always in our hands and at our feet?

This is truly a beautiful book so many will identify with because seldom does life go exactly as we had planned from day one. And the busyness of life threatens are quiet, intimate relationship with our Savior. But Micha offers hope in her journal-like memoir of discovering the time for all things, inspired by the Benedictine way of life and faith.

I had SO many things I wanted to ask Micha after finishing Found and she graciously agreed to an interview. I couldn’t NOT share all the beauty in her answers, so I’m dividing it into two parts. Here is part one…

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photo credit: Mark Kuroda Photography

E: What initially led you to research the ways of Benedict?

Micha: I came into motherhood during a season in my life when I felt pretty frantic about my own spirituality. I was trying to be enough for God, trying to make my life count. And being ordinary seemed the furthest thing from what God would want from me. So I was desperately striving to care for my kid AND do the “big” stuff, the hard spiritual work of ministry.

I was in youth ministry then and felt constantly torn, just like most working moms, between my passion for my work and my students and the demand of my child. And I feared that if I left ministry, I was leaving the thing that made my life valuable.

So much of it came down to a skewed perspective of God. I felt like if I could just figure out how to be more organized, how to be on time, how fit more in to my schedule, then I could finally pray enough, be enough, to feel valuable.

I came to Benedictine spirituality through one quote in Kathleen Norris’ book, The Cloister Walk. In her preface, she mentions that the Benedictines have always believed “there is enough time in each day for work and study and rest and play.” As a mom, I thought maybe I’d found the Holy Grail. Maybe there was a way to have enough time in the day to be everything I needed to be!

The story of my book, though, is the reality that “enough time” is not a five-step plan, some secret sauce that nobody else has figured out. It’s a spiritual condition of believing that there is enough time because God is enough, because God is making me enough.

 

E: What is your favorite prayer of the day in the Benedictine tradition? Favorite psalm to pray?

Micha: I talk about this verse in the book, but it’s become natural for me to pray the psalm that Benedictines pray each morning when they wake up. “Oh Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise” (Psalm 51:15).

I love praying that before I open my lips. Before I’m barking orders at my kids to get dressed for school. Before I’m nagging my husband to take care of something for the house, I want to order my heart and my lips into one straight line. Will my mouth declare God’s praise? Will my hands? Will the words I write and the way I change that diaper and the grace I offer my Kindergartener when he refuses to focus on his homework?

What will happen when I open my lips today? Who will I belong to? I want to belong to Jesus. I want to belong to the God who rescues me again and again. I want to recognize God finding me, right now, today. Here.

 

E: What books do you recommend on the topic of prayer and Benedict? {This is for me, too – I’m very interested!}

I mention a lot of books in Found. But my favorite Benedictine author is Esther de Waal. Her books Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict and Living With Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality just clicked with me. Also, The Benedictine Handbook has been important. It includes the Rule of St. Benedict and some reflections from monks on his teachings. It also includes a prayer guide, which I like to go back to from time to time. Also, Macrina Wiederkehr (a Benedictine nun) has a beautiful book called Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day, which works more as a devotional tool, taking you through the daily hours of prayer and offering scripture or poems or reflections to meditate on during those specific moments of prayer.

You can find links to buy Found and the other books recommended here. And join us tomorrow for part two of my interview with Micha!

 

Micha (pronounced “MY-cah”) Boyett is a writer, blogger, and sometimes poet.  A former youth minister, she’s passionate about monasticism and ancient Christian spiritual practices and how they inform the contemporary life of faith. Her first book Found: A Story Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer is available now on Amazon and will be in stores April 1. Boyett and her husband live in San Francisco with their two boys. Find her on TwitterFacebook, and at michaboyett.com

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Surprised by Motherhood

My dear Lisa-Jo wrote a book. Surprised by Motherhood. It is her journey of never wanting to be a mom.  Of losing her own mom. Of South Africa and the Ukraine and the United States. Of becoming a mom. And of being surprised by all things motherhood, especially the wonder of it all.

I was surprised by motherhood, as well, but in a very different way.

I always wanted to be a mother. As a child, I enjoyed holding babies and taking care of the younger kids. My sister and I even fought over who got to hold the newest baby cousin and for how long. I started babysitting at an early age, partially because of the money, but also because it was fun for me. Even in high school, I was voted “would make the best mom” in my senior class. And I loved that.

I worked at a daycare. I taught elementary school for five years. I really thought I had motherhood all figured out and was ready to tackle it head on. When Big J was born, motherhood felt exhausting, but still pretty natural. He got older, we added siblings for him, and then I got my surprise.

“It was like discovering a superpower – becoming a mom for the first time. It has led me to believe that motherhood should come with a superhero cape along with the free diaper bag and samples you get when the hospital sends you, otherwise defenseless, home.”

Motherhood is hard. Way harder than I ever imagined. And I don’t think it is all the kids’ fault. I know it’s not. I think I was surprised so much by motherhood because it made me confront just how selfish I am and how much I’ve always wanted to be in control. Yep, motherhood will mess with all those things in a big way.

“I didn’t know I was selfish until I had kids. I didn’t know I was angry and quick to keep a list of wrongs done to me, of slight slights, of everything I felt entitled to and was happy to demand.”

But motherhood is also hard because I love these sons of mine more than I knew was possible. I want so much for them. I feel like I should never stop praying for them. All the emotions I feel towards my children and magnified because of the great love I feel for them. My boys can be the cause for great joy, great sorrow, great frustration…all in the same day. Lisa-Jo says, “Sometimes you don’t realize you have a temper until you have kids.” And, “Nothing can hurt as much as the fears we carry for our children.” This could not be more true.

Boys Looking Up Blog

If I’m being real honest here, I have always been terrible at follow-through, especially with long-term tasks. Motherhood is definitely long-term and NOT following through is not an option for me, so I am being stretched and grown in unimaginable ways. Some days the stretching hurts, but when I pause long enough to see God at work, I feel and see so much more clearly…

“With this boy wrapped in my arms, this flesh and blood and bone that I had grown in my womb, clinging to me, I understood what the God parent feels for me. To die for this love – yes, it made sense.”

These days I’m being surprised by finding new ways to enjoy motherhood. Much of this comes from knowing that no mom thinks her job is easy. There is great relief in that knowledge.

It also comes from learning more about the amazing boys God has given us and the ways He in which He has connected us. I feel like a student all over again. And I’m making my strengths work for me – being silly and dancing more, communicating more effectively with the boys, finding ways to be positive during the rough days.

Surprised by Motherhood

If you were sitting near me when I started reading this beautiful, transparent memoir of motherhood, you would have been passing me Kleenex after Kleenex as I related so closely with Lisa-Jo’s words, despite our very different stories.

And I’m needing a Kleenex now as I write this and realize just how I needed to hear her real, nitty-gritty, wonder-filled motherhood story. How every mom needs to read the ups and downs of someone else’s motherhood story to realize just how brave and not alone they are. Lisa-Jo gets it. She gets me. She gets us, moms.

Congrats, Lisa-Jo. Your newest baby is just gorgeous.

Surprised by Motherhood is available TODAY! Yes, TODAY! Order now!

 

*I received a copy of this book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

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That Pesky Love Idol

I mentioned Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Love Idol back at the beginning of Lent. I had just started reading it and even the first few pages spoke to something I’ve struggled with, well, for all time. I like to be liked. I like to be heard. I wouldn’t always call myself a people-pleaser, but the applause and approval of other humans often edges out the approval of the only One who matters.

“I knew what the Bible said about me, but I measured my worth by other barometers – the mirror, report cards, and my performance among peers – even if it broke well-established moral rules.”

Reading Love Idol has been like therapy for me. With each chapter, I identify with another piece of Jennifer’s story – the striving for good grades, the saying “yes” so you don’t disappoint someone, being wrapped up in what others will think and riding the roller-coaster of their reactions.

“We ache to live our Christ identity more fully, instead of living a life yielded to our approval ratings. It is not a popularity contest. It is not a materialistic chase for medals, money, or Twitter @mentions.”

Unfortunately, the approval-seeking has been my default for so long. It’s a pesky love idol to shake. Pesky, but not impossible.

Preapproved Blog

As part of my Lenten journey this year, I gave up looking at my blog statistics. I did a lot more writing from the heart, not for numbers or comments. It felt a little bold and scary, but also felt like it was less about me.

“God’s Word compels us to choose the Holy Trinity, not the self-centric trio of Me, Myself, and I.”

Can I tell you what I love about Jennifer’s message so much?

Love Idol

It isn’t about denying any praise or compliments that come your way. It’s Jesus and our hearts. It’s about refocusing. And all of this leads to freedom. I need that daily. 

“When you and I no longer rely on praise or approval for our performance, we find new freedom: We can enjoy affirmation without craving it.”

The whole idea of being pre-approved? I’ve plastered those genius little signs on my computer, my bathroom wall, my planner. I can’t write anything that will make Jesus love me more or less. My appearance on any given day has no weight in His eyes. There is no planning or scheduling or working my way into a better place in heaven. I am and always have been pre-approved by Him.

“I yearn for us all to know the deep, deep love of Jesus – that it would be enough, that it always has been enough, and that it’s a love that can never be over matched by anything or anyone in this world.”

Love Idol is marked with many underlined passages and stars in the margins. It bears the soul of its writer in such a way that I felt as though we were confessing and story-sharing over coffee. It spurs me on in my desire to be less about me and ALL about Him. It will be in my nightstand for a long time as I continue to let go of my pesky love idol and hold tight to the love of my Savior.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you join the Love Idol Movement on Facebook! So inspiring!

 

I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own! All quotes are from the book!

 

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Water Walker + Forgiveness

I had never really struggled with forgiveness issues in my life. And I never knew how much I would need to practice forgiveness in my role as a mother.

Only a daily basis, there are times I feel hurt, offended, wronged by my children. These offenses are often unintentional. Many times, they are are product of the natural immaturity of children. And sometimes they say or do hurtful things on purpose. If I’m honest with myself, I do these same things. That sinful nature in all of us…

Amidst this role as mother, I have found myself parenting with the wrongs at the forefront of my mind. Well, you can imagine how great a mother I am when holding on to frustration, sadness, anger in regards to being hurt by their harsh words, disobedience, disrespect.

I don’t think what I’m describing is much different than what most parents experience. Children act from impulses. They hurt others both intentionally and without knowing it. All of us do this, but hopefully we learn over time to treat others with respect and kindness.

When we’re hurt by someone we deeply love, it aches even more. That’s why our children can cause such strong emotions in us. We love them so much and can’t imagine they could ever do anything to upset, hurt, emotionally damage us. But it happens, probably to all parents at one time or another. And even a small act of disrespect from our own child can feel like a big slap in the face.

Here’s where forgiveness comes in to play. Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said we’d have to forgive some people a whole lot…

Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. ~Luke 17:4

And with kids, they might not even know they need to ask forgiveness. But the forgiveness needs to come, more for my sake than theirs. It’s a way of releasing the hurt into the hands of the One who can carry it without any bitterness, only with grace and mercy.

My mind is all wrapped around this forgiveness thing because of Ted Dekker’s newest book, Water Walker.

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I’m not sure I had ever read a Ted Dekker book before and suspense is not my normal choice for reading material, but the spiritual message and theme of forgiveness really drew me in.

Letting go is something you do, not just talk about. Talking about forgiving changes nothing. Doing it changes everything, not just in you, but somehow in those around you. We are not healed alone. Don’t ask me to explain. ~Ted Dekker, Water Walker

The main character of Water Walker, Alice, faces unimaginable trials and offenses from those who claim to love her. Honestly, her suffering was quite difficult for me to read. But that makes her walk towards Jesus and forgiveness even more amazing. A miracle.

I was really moved by the way Dekker used the imagery of stepping out of the boat onto the stormy water to illustrate forgiveness. Our eyes must always stay fixed on Jesus, not the waves and storm around us. And this is a huge act of faith, this forgiving and releasing the feelings we hold against someone. Truly forgiving is what makes us water walkers.

Since finishing Water Walker, I find myself recognizing the negative ways in which unforgiveness eats away at me. I am experiencing the freedom that comes in telling my child I forgive them for something they didn’t even know hurt me. And I forgive in my head, my heart, sometimes seventy times seven times a day because I know this is what Jesus would do.

I’m a better mom because of forgiveness. And I hope my kids learn to do the same forgiving for me.

What has been your experience with forgiveness and motherhood? Are you, like me, easily hurt by things your children do or say to you?

 

If you’re interested in reading Water Walker, you can get the first episode of the book for free here!

I received this book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

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Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

If you’re a parent and you don’t know the name Sally Lloyd-Jones, then we need to have a talk. And if you don’t have the Jesus Storybook Bible {written by Ms. Lloyd-Jones} in your home, well, I’m not sure we can be friends.

Ok, I ‘m just kidding about that, but I really do feel that strongly about your need to know of Sally and own her wonderful writing for children. Your collection really MUST start with the Jesus Storybook Bible, but it shouldn’t stop there.

Song of the Stars is a lovely Christmas book for the kiddos, especially if they love animals! How to Get a Job…by Me, the Boss leaves my crying tears of laughter and hardly able to read the next line EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we read it.

And now there is Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale, the newest addition to Sally’s long list of delightful children’s books.

Poor Doreen

Miss Doreen Randolph-Potts is an Ample Roundy Fish with a wonderful outlook on life heading off to visit family. Even though we can see Poor Doreen’s trip taking one turn for the worse after another, Doreen sees only fun and adventure along the way. She may be naive, but she’s also enjoying the ride!

The boys and I have had many laughs over Doreen’s misconceptions {and Little J does the BEST voices when reading it!}, but there are so many other things to love about Poor Doreen! The illustrations by Alexandra Boiger are just fabulous – colorful and detailed and just delightfully perfect for this tale. And as a fun bonus for budding learners and readers, Sally has included letters whimsically hidden in animals and shapes throughout the story!

Although Doreen may be positive to the point of being in danger, I still find Poor Doreen to be a wonderful example of facing life’s adventures and trials with a positive attitude. While we shouldn’t be expected to do a happy dance when things don’t go our way, we can always look for the positive and see God’s hand at work in all things!

Poor Doreen is available TODAY! Add it to your family’s library and enjoy this colorful fishy tale over and over again!

Which Sally Lloyd-Jones book is your favorite?

 

*I received a review copy of Poor Doreen. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

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Pulling Back the Shades {Review + Giveaway}

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Being a reader, I should have taken notice when Fifty Shades of Gray was released, but it really didn’t register on my radar…until several women I knew started talking about it. Naively, I looked it up and was quite stunned at what had become popular with my peers, friends, relatives.

Yeah, TOTALLY not what I expected. At 32, I can still be surprised. And I’m a little uncomfortable even bringing up the topic here…but God has shown me the importance of this topic for women right now in our culture, Christian or not.

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I have not read the Fifty Shades of Grey books and I pass no judgment on any who have, but I am applauding Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh for taking on what those books represent in our culture heading on in their new book, Pulling Back the Shades.

This book is not ultimately about Fifty Shades of Grey or even about erotica. This book is about the spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of women. Our prayer is not just that you throw out the junk that enslaves you to the world’s thinking but that you join a call for revival among God’s women. {p. 147}

There is so much I could go into about Juli and Dannah’s words of wisdom and advice on the topic of women, sexuality, media, but there was one main message I wanted to highlight today.

I believe one of the great failures of the church is programming women in singleness for sexual repression by hiding from them the notion that they are created to be sexual. That is not God’s plan for purity. {p. 111}

We as women don’t have to be only spiritual or only sexual. We were designed to be BOTH.

Your sexuality was never meant to be separate from your deepest spiritual and relational longings but to be an expression of them. {p. 46}

There has been so much separation put between the spiritual and the sexual that we have come to believe they cannot or should not coexist. And this is where we find temptation and sin sneaking in.

Don't Have to Choose

The important things discussed in this book include Dannah and Juli’s answers to many women’s questions about what is “right” and “wrong” in regards to sexuality, what it means to be both spiritually and sexually satisfied, and lots of thoughts on what our culture and media have made us think is acceptable and natural – when it’s really becoming a substitute for God.

I know Pulling Back the Shades is going to be a powerful book for women seeking answers and trying to live lives that glorify God in all areas. And as uncomfortable as I may be even bringing up this topic, the light is the only way to freedom and that is just what this book does – shines His light.

Thanks to Dannah and Juli, I have five copies of Pulling Back the Shades to giveaway today – for you, for a friend, for your own awareness as you minister to other women! Just enter below to win by liking the Authentic Intimacy Facebook page and/or following the Authentic Intimacy Twitter account! The work these women are doing is so needed!

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* I received a copy of Pulling Back the Shades to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

 

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Say Goodbye to Survival Mode!

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My focus this year is on vitality. In all areas of life. No longer just surviving, but rather living a full, energetic, passionate life. Choosing a word for the year is not just about having it there to motivate you – you have to do something. And while I was wanting to leave survival mode behind, I needed a plan to jump start my year of vitality.

That’s when Crystal Paine’s newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, came into my life.

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I often love the concepts presented in non-fiction books like this one, but I have a hard time finishing them. I get overwhelmed by all of the things I should be doing and put the book away before applying any of the concepts.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a totally different story. I felt like Crystal was telling my tale of being overwhelmed, easily distracted, and just plain tired. As a fellow mom of three little ones, reading about Crystal’s path out of survival mode provided me with a lot of hope!

And along with hope, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode serves up nine strategies for moving forward with intention and life! My favorite strategies are along the lines of time management because that is where I struggle most. A few of my favorite tips:

Record what you do every half hour for 2-3 days.

I actually did this and WOW. So much wasted time here are there! But even just the act of recording what I was doing with my time made me be more intentional. I wanted to make better use of each chunk of time and I stopped doing a few unnecessary things that were showing up too often on the list!

Use those five minutes here and there.

Crystal includes a great starter list of things you could get done in that extra five minutes you have here and there instead of mindlessly surfing Facebook. I’ve started my own list to hang on the fridge to remind me that I own my time and can make it work better for me if I don’t waste it!

Set focused work time.

As an easily-distracted person, I have a hard time using time wisely. I have too many open windows in my browser. Multi-tasking is often my enemy and the thief of some of my vitality. I’ve been scheduling my days better since reading this book, and my writing time has been a lot more productive. Focused work time also means my time with my family is more focused as well.

These were my biggest “aha” moments, but Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is so much more than this. You’ll also find Crystal’s help to:

  • feel healthier and more energetic by setting priorities and boundaries
  • eliminate stress with savvy management of your time, money, and home
  • get more done by setting realistic goals and embracing discipline
  • rediscover your passions—and the confidence to pursue them

I don’t know many women who WOULDN’T benefit from reading this book, trying Crystal’s strategies, and finding life beyond just surviving! I am grateful to Crystal for sharing her life in such an honest and inspiring way and I am thrilled about the direction Say Goodbye to Survival Mode has me moving in for 2014!

SPECIAL, LIMITED TIME OFFER:

To celebrate the release of her book this week, Crystal is offering a collection of amazing prizes for those who buy the book. Simply go to www.GoodbyeSurvivalModeBook.com now for details. And there are lots of special giveaways every day this week as well! You can also pick up the book anywhere books are sold, including Amazon.

Are you in survival mode? What area of your life could use a new strategy?

 

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Praying for Boys

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

This is a very significant month if you’re a boy raiser like me. This is the month my dear friend Brooke’s book, Praying for Boys, is released!

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Nothing has impacted the way I pray for my boy more than Brooke’s words, starting with her ebook, Warrior Prayers, and now Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most.

God connected Brooke and I several years ago via the wonderful worldwide web and through that divine appointment, The MOB Society was born. I am so thankful to be on this boy-raising journey with her because, though our boys are roughly the same age, God has given Brooke a passionate heart for praying for our sons and wisdom beyond both our years as a mother from which I draw much strength and inspiration.

“Raising boys brings one adventure after another, but we’re losing the beauty and importance of training up godly men. Our boys need faithful Christian parents now more than ever. We can choose to rejoin the war for the hearts of our sons…today.”

Praying for Boys includes the original Scripture-based prayers from Warrior Prayers, but it is so much more than that. Brooke shares many personal stories that any boy mom or dad could relate with, as well as wonderful stories of the faithfulness of her grandmothers in their own journeys of raising boys.

“Remember mama, God hasn’t asked you to win the battle for the hearts of your sons. He’s only asked you to fight.”

I don’t know what I’m doing raising boys, but God does. When I try it on my own, I find only frustration and feelings of failure. When I bathe my sons {and my own motherhood} in prayers, there is hope in Jesus. And I don’t even have to have the right words because Brooke provides them aplenty in Praying for Boys.

“If their knees are ever to bend to Jesus as Savior, their hearts must bend first. This is the place of a mama’s prayers.”

This book has joined Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys as my go-to manuals for raising strong, godly men. It will stir your heart. It will move you to action. It will get you on your knees, right where God wants us. I’m doing it for these guys.

Praying for My Boys

I could not be more proud of Brooke and this book and thankful for her following God’s call to write it. Well done, friend. I needed this and I know so many boy raisers will find it to be just what they needed as well.

Praying for Boys: Asking God for What They Need Most releases January 7, 2014, but you can pre-order it now just to make sure you get it as soon as it is ready!

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Everybody Can Help Somebody {Review + Giveaway}

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Every once in a while, a children’s book comes along that tells a really important true story that makes the whole family think and pray and want to act.

A few years ago in our house, it was The Boy Who Changed the World. The “true” aspect of the story totally captivates my children and makes them ask a million questions. Reading these inspiring true stories sticks with all of us long after the first reading.

We had the pleasure of discovering a new book of the same kind this month and it has all of us thinking and asking God what He would have us do.


Everybody Can Help Somebody is written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, authors of the best-selling book, Same Kind of Different As Me. Both books tell the story of Denver’s life as a sharecropper’s child and his decision to venture out on his own, which led to a life of poverty.

The boys were very sad as we read about Denver’s life…until Miss Debbie entered the picture and took the time to not only tell Denver about God’s love, but also show it to him by helping him.


Everybody Can Help Somebody

There is a line in the book where Denver tells Miss Debbie, “I am a very bad man. Leave me alone!” And she answers back, “You are not a bad man. You are a good man. God loves you, and so do I.” Sometimes my boys need to hear this same thing. After a day of bad decisions, sometimes one of them will say, “I’m just bad,” and I will have the chance to remind them that we are all sinners, but because of Jesus, God sees us as good and loves us just as we are.

Everybody Can Help Somebody inside.jpg

And, of course, Miss Debbie is an example to all of us. She took the time to speak truth into the life of another person and then followed it up with actions of love. This book is a great opportunity to talk about making a difference in our own communities by being kind and generous with our time!

You can enter to win a copy of Everybody Can Help Somebody below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**I received this book to review as a Tommy Mommy. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in any other way for this post.

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