Feeling Overwhelmed: 31 Days to Clean

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I don’t know any moms who can’t relate to this–feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know why it happens so easily to moms, especially when our kids are young. There is always more work than we have hours or strength, whichever runs out first.  Fortunately in this chapter Sarah gives some practical suggestions.

She seconds the Fly Lady’s suggestion to set a timer for 15 minutes and just clean, choosing tasks that you know can be finished in this amount of time. Things I find that work well here are emptying or filling the dishwasher, picking up toys, clearing a table or countertop, emptying old food from the back of the fridge. I’m sure there are other things, do what works for you.

The next suggestion is similar, just get moving. Any little amount of effort is better than nothing. Dealing with the mail as it comes in instead of putting it on the table. Rinsing the dishes right away and putting them in the dish washer instead of sitting in the sink until it’s full. (Can you tell this is a regular problem at my house?) When we are overwhelmed, it’s easy to just give up before we start. When we do that we underestimate the power of baby steps.

Keep your eyes on the goal. This one is so hard for me. All I see is the mess and I sometimes forget the point. I want my home to be livable but inviting. So if there are some pillows on the floor or a pile of books on the table, who cares? It shows we live here. But when there are so many toys on the floor that I can’t walk across the room, then something must be done. The goal is for my home to get to the point where we own items that we use and love, and maintaining our home only takes regular but short periods of time. If it takes me hours a day, something needs to change.

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Mary Challenge

Light a candle, (only for 10 minutes), sip a favorite beverage, close your eyes, and envision your big picture. Then write down your big picture. Ask God to help you physically create the vision for your home life.

This is a tall order. When I have just a few moments of quiet, my mind usually wanders to all the tasks that need to be done rather than my ultimate goal. But I’m going to try and focus on the big picture I want for my home. A place for everything and everything in its place. Owning only things we find both useful and beautiful. These two goals mean that I need to purge the things we don’t like or needs and be very careful about new items that come in. It also means that I need to focus on storage, and make sure I use that storage.

Martha Challenge

Living Room – Clean window treatments and wash inside of windows. This is timely in that I don’t know if I’ve ever really washed my windows and it has probably been a while since I washed our window curtains either. If the eyes are the window of the home I’ll try to think of this as clearing my vision of the future.
31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Why Clean?: 31 Days to Clean

Created to Give Life: 31 Days to Clean

10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home: 31 Days to Clean

A Place to Put Your Feet Up: 31 Days to Clean

Priorities: 30 Days to Clean

The 6 List: 31 Days to Clean

The Curse – What We’re Up Against: 31 Days to Clean

Overcoming the Curse: 31 Days to Clean

Confronting Laziness: 31 Days to Clean

31Days1

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Do Only 6 Things Today: Mindset for Moms

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I guess this is a common theme for overwhelmed moms. Those of you following my 31 days to Clean series will remember that a few weeks ago I tackled the challenge to write down and do six things each day. Well, I don’t always do it. But it has helped me make a highest priority list each day. Sometimes it consists of tasks like laundry, or baking but other times it’s things like writing blog posts, working on my novel, or sending ministry emails. But there is one thing I appreciated most about Jamie’s challenge. She wanted to make sure that the family always come first.

She has three times on her list that repeat and three that vary. One of the regular repeating items is read to her kids. This reminded me that spending time with my kids is not just luxury, it’s a necessity. My daughter has been having some behavior and attitude issues lately. I’ve been at a loss for what to do. But I know that she does better when I give her some of my undivided attention each day. My son is the same way, plus he is so little it’s easy to accidentally overlook that he needs quality time too. He may not say much, but he still loves to sit in my lap to be read to, or have me play a simple game.

It’s so easy to forget why I do all this. My kids will only be little for this short time. Yes, there are things that must be done. Meals must be made so we all stay healthy. The house must be cleaned so we can better live in our home together and enjoy it and each other. But if in my zeal to get my house in order I forget who I’m doing it, I’ve missed the point.

So when I make my list of tomorrow’s tasks which will probably include, laundry, baking, dishes and blogging, I also want to make sure that one on one time with my kids makes the list. Not just makes it, but is at the top. They deserve to get my best, not what is left over. Because if I’m honest, the work will never really be done and I don’t want to miss out on them.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms

Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms

What Are You Putting In Your Mind? : Mindset for Moms

Write it Down: Mindset for Moms

Let It Go: Mindset for Moms

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Change My Heart, Renew My Mind: Five Minute Friday

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This week’s prompt is Change.

I change diapers, change sheets. Change shirts when spit up or smeared food graces me more frequently than perfume or jewels.
“Change your attitude.” I tell my defiant five year old.
“Change your tone.” I remind her when the whines and demands rear their ugly heads.
“Don’t forget to change your underwear.” I call up the stairs as we get ready to face the day.
I try to change my thoughts, to focus more on the positive. Change my words to gratitude rather than complaint. Attempting to transform my body into one that is strong enough and healthy enough to handle this beautiful, crazy life I’ve been given. If I’m being honest I’d like to see myself look different in the mirror too. But maybe what really needs to change is the way I see myself.
I am strong.
I am determined.
Somewhere inside me is the wherewithal to manage all that beings thrown at me.  He who is within is greater than he who is within the world. Around me the world changes and I wonder how much of me changes with it. How much should? What parts of me are baked in, set and should not be moved? The only ones I know for sure or those that connect me to my Father, my source of life, the anchor for my soul. I need to let him change me more than I try to change myself. Renew my mind, my strength, my love and make me ready to face this day and each one after that.

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Fit2B Inspired Week 2: Target Trouble Spots

 

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This week I decided to kick it up a notch a little by adding some more challenging workouts that target particular areas of the body but while maintaining the same basic structure of routines as last week; Foundational Five, cardio, upper body or other strength training.

I should also mention that you don’t have to do all of these workouts in one sitting to get the benefit. Maybe you do some in the morning, and some at night. Maybe during the kids’ naptime or while they eat lunch. Whatever works for you. But if you can’t complete all the workouts every day, don’t despair. You don’t need to do them all. As Beth Learn would say “You are doing more now than you were 15 minutes ago.” Celebrate what you do accomplish rather than lamenting what you don’t.

 

Monday

Totally Transverse

Basic Aerobics II

Ab Attack

Insane Upper Body

Total Length: 58 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

I really enjoyed doing this combo because each one wasn’t more than 17 minutes or so. All together equally about an hour. Which was great. But because it was in separate segments, I was able to take breaks to deal with my kids. Ab Attack is not easy, but it feels good to be able to do it and really keep my core engaged. I really started to feel like I’m gaining strength this week, in both my core and upper body.

 

Tuesday

Basic Transverse & Mula Banda

Backside Burner II

Body Sculpting

Total Length: 61 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

Backside Burner II is a good workout but doesn’t really burn my glutes the way I thought it would. As far as Body Sculpting goes, I was way more intimidated by this than I should have been. This was a fun workout and it didn’t totally kill me either. It was a great combo to compliment the Backside burner, since it also uses other areas of the body. So excited that you can finally find Body Sculpting on the Roku channel as well!

 

Wednesday

Totally Transverse II

Basic Aerobics III

Ultimate Upper Body

Neck routine

Total Length: 60 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

This is great combo. I appreciate that Bethany offers a good cool down at the end of each workout, but sometimes an extra stretching or relaxation video is in order. I’d forgotten how much I love doing the neck routine. I probably should be doing it every day to battle the frequent headaches and neck and shoulder tension.

 

Thursday

Mula Banda

Thigh Workouts

Weighted Warriors

Total Length: 61 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

Wow! This is a killer combination. The Thigh Workout focuses more on lower body and Weighted Warriors the upper body. Both are on the slow moving side which requires the hard work to sustain the movement. This was my first attempt of the thigh workout, and I think I’ll need to come around to it again before I’ll have a fully formed opinion about it. But overall, one of the harder things I’ve tried.

 

Friday

Align it Flat

Tabata Ball workout

Total Length: 47 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

I try to limit myself to just two workouts on Fridays. I don’t know why, I guess it feels like I’m rewarding myself for working hard all week. I find each week, as much as I sometimes get bored with Align it Flat, that I really need it. It’s easy throughout the week to begin to forget how to need to hold my body for ideal strength. This has been so important for me. It feels like a long time to spend doing something that doesn’t seem like a “real workout” but I’ve found the benefit is worth the time. Tabata Ball workout is a fun new way of doing Tabata that helps to keep it interesting. I do use a dumbbell instead a weighted ball, for now. Hopefully I’ll be buying some other equipment as I find I actually need it. (I’m hoping to need heavier dumb bells by the time I’m done too). The motions Beth Learn shows with the ball are definitely different and unusual compared to the typical exercise movements. It focuses on grip and dexterity in addition to basic strength training and light cardio.

 

Saturday

Love Handles Lost

Total Length: 26 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

I always forget how much I like this workout. It does tax the core in a new way and tends to force me to really use my psoas muscles as well. It isn’t so long that it’s painful, but it is still long enough to let you push your body just a little bit. I love doing this to start my Saturday morning. Sometimes I run on Saturday evenings with a friend, and this workout is a great complement.

 

Sunday

Warrior Workout

Total Length: 12 minutes

What I Like About This Combination:

Short relaxing yet you can feel the muscles working. Sundays are busy for us, so I like that it isn’t too long and I can squeeze it in wherever. Plus, since the focus of next week is to take it easy a little bit, this was a great start. It also doesn’t get me super sweaty which is good if I’m not going to have time to grab a shower.

Bonus: Tummy Safe Transitions

Total Length: 16 minutes.

Sometimes if I have the time I throw in Tummy Safe Transitions as well. There is something about this workout, as far as core engagement, coordination and dexterity that I love. It’s not too long and goes well with the warrior workout. So if you have the time, feel free to tack this one on too. Or try one in the morning and one at night.

Next week is Week 3 which is also the rest and recovery week of the month. We’ll still be getting a good workout, but also giving our bodies a chance to rest and recover if needed. If you don’t want to do this week yet, feel free to repeat Week 1 or 2 and then progress to Week 4. I do recommend doing a recovery week at some point though.

Two weeks down, two to go. Until then, I’m Fit2B Inspired.

Fit2B Inspired: Creating My Own Fit2B Schedule Week 1

If you haven’t already, check out the new Fit2B e-course, Experts on Diastasis Recti.

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Confronting Laziness: 31 Days to Clean

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One of the upsides of working through 31 Days to Clean is that I have time to really meditate on each chapter. The downside is that I have that much longer to feel convicted. Laziness is a tough label. Not one that I would apply to many moms I know. It’s not acceptable. We can be overtired, overwhelmed, in need of some downtime but never lazy. That being said, I don’t want you to think I’m going say you should never take a break and relax. (That would be my first instinct. “Fine, you think I’m lazy? I”ll never sit down again, just watch and see). That’s not what we are talking about. I’m talking about our flesh. The sinful part of us that just doesn’t want to do what we need to do.

I really don’t want to deal with another sink full of dishes so I’ll just leave them for my husband to do. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this sometimes, or perhaps it’s the other way around in your house). I put off frustrating tasks like writing checks or making doctor’s appointments. I dread a trip to the grocery store with just me and the kids. Now these things are no always inherently bad. In our house, my husband does most of the dishes because I do all the cooking, and all the laundry. He does the vacuuming and I clean the bathroom. Yes, I could try to do these things by myself during the day, but so far this shared method seems to work. (Perhaps when we finally get around to the next chapter of His Needs, Her Needs on domestic support I’ll discover I’m wrong, but I’m going with it for now). What’s in question is the attitude.

Am I putting off this task deliberately as an intentional decision because I know another time would be better? (I’ve been known to put off paying the bills when my kids are screaming for lunch. Sometimes there is a good reason to wait). In which case, decide on a time you will return to the task or who will do it instead and how.  Or am I just avoiding dealing with an unpleasant task or one I just don’t “feel” like doing? My daughter and I talk a lot about this lately. She tells me “Mommy, I don’t feel like picking up my toys.” Then I get to explain to her that I rarely feel like picking up toys, doing dishes or even cooking meals. But I do it because it’s part of my job as mom. Helping around the house is part of her job as a kid.

As a mom, I have an amazing job. It doesn’t always feel like it though. Sometimes it feels like nothing but thankless drudgery. But letting laziness get a foothold in my life and attitude will not improve my situation. So I struggle with this daily and actually felt liberated to read that author Sara Mae feels the same way. We lazy girls have to stick together, or at least poke each other until we get a move on.

Mary Challenge:
“Every time you find yourself saying, ‘I will do it later,” I want you to stop and pray, asking God to give you a spirit of diligence. Then, with an obedient heart, go to work.”

I especially appreciate that Sara highlighted that we will fail in this task. But that is where grace comes in. God extends it to us and we get to try again and try to do better next time. I need to learn to do this especially with house work. Sometimes just doing the task immediately is better than walking by it undone day after day at least for my mental health. I also need to apply this to unpleasant tasks. Sometimes I just need to do it and get it over with.

Martha Challenge
Kitchen – Sweep, vacuum, and mop floors. Add some fresh flowers to brighten your day.

Well, my kitchen needs this anyway. So it’s not that big a deal to do it yet again. Fresh flowers is also an easy task this time of year and I know it always seems to give my house life.

31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Why Clean?: 31 Days to Clean

Created to Give Life: 31 Days to Clean

10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home: 31 Days to Clean

A Place to Put Your Feet Up: 31 Days to Clean

Priorities: 30 Days to Clean

The 6 List: 31 Days to Clean

The Curse – What We’re Up Against: 31 Days to Clean

Overcoming the Curse: 31 Days to Clean

31Days1

Categories: 31 Days to Clean, Organization | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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