On being a work at home mom: Staying in control.

I was recently asked if I would be willing to speak at the annual Pursuit 31 Conference on a Work at Home Mom panel. I was so honored to be asked, and am thrilled about the opportunity. As you know, I love sharing my heart with other women! When I saw this on the registration form:

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I have to admit, it took me back for a second when I saw it, because my automatic thought was – I’m not a working mom! Weird, right? Because clearly I am! But I knew from the minute I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to be a stay at home mom! And so I have always thought of myself as that. I do stay at home with my kids, but I can sometimes forget that I am a working mom now.

I somehow took on running a not for profit, running a photography business, and blogging every day right along side of homeschooling my kids, serving in many ministries in church and trying to maintain every other aspect of life as well! It can definitely be a challenge, and it is something that definitely needs to be thought out and planned.

See..that is where I struggle. Planning things. Ugh…I do love when things are organized and planned but I admit that I have a hard time getting there! I know that there are a lot of work at home moms that read this, and I wanted to just challenge you to make sure that you are purposefully planning your days and your life. Here are few tips:

1. Keep your computer at a desk.

Seems obvious, right? But my problem was that I was doing all my work on my laptop. My laptop could go anywhere with me. So we were having a family movie night? No problem…I will just do a little editing on the couch while we watch. The kids are in bed and Adam and I actually have a few minutes to ourselves? No problem again! We can talk while I sit in bed with my computer on my lap and finish up this blog post. The problem became that I was bringing my work everywhere with me. It was not a good idea. At all. So when I bought a new computer that was a desktop (once you go mac, you never go back) I couldn’t believe the difference it made! My work was done at my desk. And when it was family movie time? Or alone time with Adam? I didn’t need to bring my work with me.

2. Log your hours.

I am just now, after 5 years, starting to do this. The hard part about working from home is that you can “just” email a few people real quick. “Just” edit a few pictures. “Just work on your website to fix one thing”…and before you know it? Hours have gone by. I can not believe how fast an hour can go by!  Logging your hours puts things into perspective. If I am not willing to take a job that has me working 60 hours a week outside my home, why would it be ok to take a job that has me working 60 hours inside my home? Either way, I am unavailable to my kids, and my thoughts are being taken up with my work. Logging your hours also keeps you focused. Categorize what you are doing:

*Editing

*Blogging

*NFP Website

*Business Website

*Client Emails

Here’s the thing. If I know I am timing myself? I won’t “check Facebook real quick”. And please notice, Facebook is not one of my categories! It is pretty interesting to see how your day is being spent and definitely helps you see if you should be taking more business, if you should start outsourcing things, or hire an assistant!

3. Don’t be afraid to say no.

There has to be boundaries. I think something that is hard to remember, is that I work for myself. Because of that, I get to choose my schedule and decide what works for me and my family. I decided at the beginning, that I would not work on Sunday mornings. I have had to turn down weddings, and sessions because of it, but I made the decision and I am sticking to it. Because I need to stay in control. Turning down a session because it is just not going to work is ok. Give yourself permission to do that, and remind yourself of what is important. I have huge pictures of my boys right above my computer. I am reminded every time I glance at them, that my family is my priority. My marriage, my kids, my family. When I am overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted…I am not doing my family any favors.

4. Remember what you want to be known for.

Maybe you want to be known for being the most amazing photographer ever. Maybe you want to have them most likes on your page, the most sessions in a week, the most followers on instagram. Fine.

I don’t.

I don’t want to be remembered for my photography. I love photography. I love every single thing about it. But I love my family a million times more. And I love the thought of doing things, and being known for things that have eternal value a million times more also. Pictures are amazing. They make me happy looking at them, and they last for a very long time. But at the end of the day, if someone remembers me for my photography, and doesn’t remember me for being someone that showed them Jesus? Every picture I ever take would be in vain. Eternity is longer than just a lifetime of pictures and memories.

I do want to spend time perfecting my art. I do want to work on making my website look beautiful, and making my images better and better. But I do not want to spend so much time on something that is so small in comparison to what life is all about. If I become famous for my photography, and everyone knows who Rachelle Chase is because of an image that I took with my camera, I would feel like I missed the mark. I want people to know who Rachelle Chase is because of the fact that when they see her, they see what a true follower of Christ looks like. And that is what I want to invest most of my time into. Not all, but most.

Recently, I decided that I was not going to put any time into marketing or pushing my business. I knew that ultimately, God was in control, and if He wanted me to have business, I would have business. For the next 2 weeks, I had between 2 and 5 inquiries every single day. Why? Not because of anything I did. But because God was showing me that He is in control, and He can give me everything I need.

Remember. God is in control of your life. And He has allowed you to be in control of your business.

Make sure you are taking the control.

It’s your life. It’s your business. Make it count for eternity.

 

I just didn’t want to go

It was a freezing cold night in the middle of December. 

I had 2 kids, both in diapers and one on formula. Money was tight, and sleep was nonexistent. There was a Ladies cookie swap at our church and it was honestly just about the last place I wanted to be. Not at all because of what it was, or because of who was going. Just because I was tired. And discouraged. I just didn’t want to leave the house.

But I remember praying and feeling like God was telling me to go. I felt like He was telling me that I needed to change my attitude and make an effort to try and encourage someone who was there. 

So I went. I was still tired, and discouraged, but I went.

Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

I remember talking to a particular woman that night who I had thought didn’t really like me. We had never really talked much at church before, and we just didn’t seem to hit it off. I opened up with her a little bit that night. I told her that finances were really tight, and I hand’t slept more than 2 hours straight for probably 2 years. I told her that my husband was working late every night and I was just plain exhausted. The conversation probably didn’t last for more than 5 minutes, tops, and I am sure it was filled with me telling jokes and being sarcastic about the whole thing, and making it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, because that’s how I cope.

I didn’t really think another thing about the conversation after I went home, and I felt like I had done the right thing by going out that night.

What I didn’t expect was what happened next.

It was 10:30 the next morning. I was still in my pajamas, and the only makeup I had on my face was the leftover mascara from the night before. The kids were playing in our small apartment, and there were toys everywhere.

There was a knock on the door. Oh man…I didn’t even have time to shove the toys into the basket, or pick up the bottles and sippy cups off the floor! And I had no idea who I was going to be opening the door to.

I opened the door. It was this lady I had spoken with the night before. By her feet were 2 cases of diapers, containers of formula, a huge box of chocolates and a gift card to the grocery store. She had tears in her eyes as she told me that she had thought differently of me until the night before. She thought that I had it all together because that’s the way it looked when she saw me come in to church every Sunday morning…my hair and make up done. Perfectly matching outfit on the boys, and a smile on my face.

Don’t judge a person by what they look like on Sunday morning.

The actions of that woman impacted my life in an amazing way. She lived out love. And it affected me and my family incredibly, and I will never forget it. I couldn’t help but wonder…what if I had not gone to the cookie swap? What if I had decided to stay home like I wanted to? 

Today was another day I just didn’t want to go.

It was a rough morning to start with, that actually began with going to bed later than I should have which resulted in me waking up later than I intended to. A disagreement here, an annoyance there, a financial issue here…and before I knew it, it was 1:00. The time designated once a week to opening The Porch. I love The Porch. I really do. I can not even express how much I love serving the kids in our town. But today? Today was different. The summer is always hit or miss as far as kids coming in and so sometimes, I feel like it’s pointless to open. But Adam thought that we should, and I knew he was right. I was irritable, and annoyed and probably should have read my Bible a few more times before I left.

But I knew that Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

So I went. And I had a good attitude because I knew it was what God wanted us to do. Only 2 teenagers came in, but I decided to make sure that they were prayed for and cared about. 

About 2:00, a woman came in. I had never met her before but she introduced herself and said that she used to live in town. She said she was up visiting for 3 days from D.C. and just happened to be walking down the street and saw that we were open. She asked me if I would be able to pray for her. For the next 10-15 minutes she shared with me a little bit about her life. Her past. Her marriage. Her family. She wanted prayer and she knew that God would answer. She quoted scripture to me, and told me that she knew God could do miracles but she needed help really believing. She cried, and I hugged her and prayed over her. I prayed for a miracle. I prayed for peace, for comfort, for strength. I told her that we were only open for 2 hours a week during the summer, and asked her what the chances were that she happened to be walking by at that time.

We both knew it was not a coincidence.

I couldn’t help but wonder. What if I had not gone to The Porch today? What if I had decided to stay home like I wanted to?

Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

I got a text from that woman tonight that said. Thank you. You are needed here. May God bless you and your family.

You are needed here? I have to say that sometimes I don’t feel like I’m needed here. I don’t fee like I’m making all that much of a difference. I mean…some people have ministries with hundreds, even thousands of people being touched. But me? Being needed here? In this little, tiny town of Epping? But today. Today, I was reminded again of God’s perfect plan. Of how nothing is a coincidence. I am needed here. Just like you are needed where you are. Because this is where God has us. And sometimes it takes a complete stranger to remind us of basic, simple truths.

Keep doing the hard things. Go to church when it’s hard to wake up in the morning and get out of the house. Bring a meal to someone who is sick when it’s hard to even make a meal for your own family. Read your Bible first thing when it’s easier to catch up on your emails. Go to the places you just don’t want to go to, because you just never know who might bless you..  And you just never know who might need you to bless them.

Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.

But the right thing to do is always the best thing to do.

 

 

 

I don’t have time for people who don’t find me hilarious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you find a quote that is so deep and it makes you really take into consideration every aspect of your life. Like this one by John Maxwell.

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I mean…it’s good, right? What am I preparing for? Are the things I’m doing today going to improve my life tomorrow?

But then there are times when you need a good quote for no other reason than just to laugh. To laugh out loud in a totally obnoxious way because it’s just that weird and random. And really now. Who has time to be sitting around preparing for life!? HA!

Here’s a good one for ya.

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But isn’t that so true?! People! I may suddenly have a craving for ice cream at 10:30 and I will not have that taste ruined just because I brushed my teeth. 

Because at the end of the day, this next quote is what I’m talking about…

 

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Laughter is just like medicine. It cheers you up. It uplifts you. And it makes everything seem ok. So if you are going to be friends with me? Expect to be laughing. I can’t handle the thought of going too long without laughing. I can pretty much make anything into a joke. And that’s how I want my friends to be. 

So go ahead. Find some funny quotes that make you laugh for no other reason except that you need to be laughing!

 

3 Things to remember when raising teenage boys

Here I am. The mother of a teenage boy. You know, that stage in your life that you have heard countless moms talking about with dread and fear?

If there is one thing I have learned about pretty much every single area of life, it’s this:

Stereo-types are bullies. They come in and get all up in your grill and try to convince you that their way is the right way. They tell you that this is how things are because that is what everyone has always said, and who are we to try to interfere? They don’t care who they affect, and they don’t let up, no matter how much time has gone by.

I’ve never been a big fan of bullies.  And I decided a long time ago that I was not going to sit by and let other people and their opinions boss me around.

With that being said. I wanted to give you 3 things to remember when raising teenage boys. And because I like to make things easy to remember when I write and when I speak, I made them all start with the letter “a”. You’re welcome.

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1. Teenage boys need a lot of attention.

You know how things were when your boys were little. They needed constant attention. They needed their meals made for them and fed to them. They needed to be dressed. They needed you to take them to the bathroom, rock them to sleep and sing to them when they were scared.

Obviously, things change the older they get. But they change. They don’t stop. Big difference. Here is where I want to challenge you with:

They don’t need less attention the older they get, they just need a different kind of attention the older they get.

Of course you aren’t doing some of the things that you used to do, but make sure that you are not taking away the attention that they need from you entirely. You may not have to literally put food in their mouths anymore, or sometimes even cook for them. But everyone loves attention. Be sure to make a conscious effort to make their favorite meal every once in a while. Take out a bowl, spoon and cereal and leave it on the counter with a note. Leave messages on the mirror in the bathroom. Do one of their chores, look them in the eyes when they are talking to you, step away from your computer or turn the tv off to make sure you are making it very clear that they are important. Be interested in what they are interested in! When AJ wants to talk about this soccer player, and that soccer stat, I really don’t have a clue who or what he’s talking about. But I still love to listen. I love to hear him talk, hear him laugh, and watch him smile. Don’t take those things for granted. Enjoy being with your teenager. And don’t fake it…they will be able to see right through it.

Never stop giving your kids attention. Never.

Do you know one of the first people I look to when I want attention? My mom! I want my mom’s attention and I am a grown woman, myself! We never stop craving attention from our parents, and that is how it should be.

2. Teenage boys need a lot of affection.

Don’t forget about the stereo-type bully. I don’t know who ever started making it “embarrassing” for a boy to hug and kiss his mom in public. It’s stereo-typical, and it is not something you have to be pushed around with. Now. If you are not a super affection person naturally, I am not suggesting you start getting all crazy for the first time ever once they hit 13. But if hugging has always been a natural and normal part of your family’s life, why on earth would you stop when your boy hits his teen years? And for crying out loud, don’t ask them if it’s embarrassing! Why even put the thought in their head?! Why would it be embarrassing? You should make it so that he would start to wonder what was up if you didn’t hug him! Of course, everything has to start with communication.

A lot of moms I have talked to have told me that their teenager just won’t talk to them. Well…Two things for ya, momma… 1. A lot of people just won’t talk to you, it is not just because he’s a teenager.     2. That doesn’t happen overnight. If your kids are still young? Start making it a family practice now to be open about everything! I’ve said it many times before, but every once in a while, ask your teenager (or any age child) if you have done anything that day or that week that upset them. Ask at a time that allows for you to apologize and make things right in case the answer is yes! Keeping current is so important in every relationship.

Hug that boy of yours. Rub his back. Kiss his cheeks. Put your arm around him. Show him that you enjoy being with him and you love being near him.

3. Teenage boys need a lot of approval.

I mean, duh. We all need a lot of approval! I think that you have probably picked up on that main theme here. A teenage boy is no different than any other person. We are all just humans, with basic emotional, spiritual and physical needs!

During these teen years there are going to be so many people who disapprove of your son. The biggest one I find disapproving of mine is…himself. They are going through so many changes- changes with their friends, their school, their body, their emotions, their moods! Sometimes I see AJ disapproving of himself, and that breaks my heart. Understand the major importance of teaching your teenager that you approve of him, and that more importantly God approves of him. At the end of the day, the things that you need to be pushing and showing approval in, are his attitude, his service, his acts of love – not only his soccer skills, his academic excellence, or his number of friends. Yes, I think it is very important to show approval in every area of life. You are still building confidence in them! He needs to hear you cheering at his games, complimenting his good test score, and saying good things in his ear shot about how you can tell what a great kid he is because so many people like him. And it is equally as important to be careful not to show disapproval over the temporal, fleeting things. I hear way, way too many parents screaming at their kids when they play poorly at a game. It breaks my heart. I want to scream at them for behaving poorly as a parent! Yes, I see the irony there. Ha!

You can show your approval by actually speaking it. By bragging about him behind his back so he overhears you. By writing a note. By making a special meal. By taking him out. By hugging him. By buying him something. When a teenager feels approval by his parents, he is not going to be desperate to find approval elsewhere. 

Be the place he knows he can be himself without fear of being made fun of. Be the place he can laugh his hardest, burp his loudest, and act his craziest!

Don’t allow the stereo-type bully to push your son around. Don’t let him fall into any trap that make him feel like he has the right to not talk, to not show affection,  or to not honor his parents. He is responsible before God, just like the rest of us to be living a life that is pleasing to God. But he still needs you. He needs you there to support him. To know when to speak and when to listen. When to hug and when to walk away.

Enjoy that teenage boy of yours. They make the best friends.

 

Summer vacation in pictures

Alton Bay. It’s my favorite place to be.

You can check out my memories from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

It is quiet. Peaceful. Relaxing. Refreshing. Filled to the brim with memories from learning how to tie my shoe here, to having my boyfriend meet me here to spend a couple days with our family, to raising our boys to love it as well.

Here are some of our vacation in pictures.

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The suffering in Iraq: How can I sleep at night?

With everything going on in the world right now, how is it possible for us to ever sleep in peace?

I know I am not the only one who has been just sickened by the horrors that are going on in Iraq right now. It breaks my heart and it makes it hard to focus. To not feel guilty for the fact that I have freedom in America. To carry on in my everyday life. And it makes me wonder: What happens as these moms get their children snatched out of their arms knowing that they are going to be beheaded.

Beheaded. Not bullied. Not made fun of. Not injured… Beheaded.

They do not get an ice bucket challenge done in their honor.

They do not get a facebook page created for them where they can see how many fans it has, no clever hashtag to show support.

They don’t have a go fund me account started to collect thousands of dollars, no news articles of the last 10 years of their child’s life.

They don’t even get a proper funeral for their precious babies.

It’s over. Just like that. Their life as they know it is over.

Taken away from them by arrogant, angry, despicable men. Who seem to have no conscious. No feelings. No soul.

And here we are in America. Helplessly standing by.

It’s crazy really, because there truly is nothing I can physically do to save one single person in Iraq. There is no trip I can make, no money I can send, no gifts I can give.

But my heart aches as I watch what takes place in a country I have never been. To people I have never met.

I remember taking my family to the Dominican Republic when the boys were 4 and 6. We had traveled all day long, and were riding in a loud, crowded bus at 11:00 at night. Riley was  not feeling well, and as we drove farther and farther away from any form of “civilization” I remember feeling helpless. Like..what if something was wrong with my son and there is no doctor, and nothing I can do to protect him?

Talk about a minor, little, insignificant problem to be dealing with in comparison.d1230-img_3504

 These moms and dads are feeling the ultimate definition of helpless and hopeless, by anyone’s definition, and there is not any possible way anyone would debate it.

But these people who are being persecuted are supposed to be Christians. Christ followers. And do you know the main thing that separates Christians from non-Christians?

HOPE.

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Jesus gives hope. Because we know that this life is short. And after this life, comes eternal life. And eternal life with God in  heaven is perfection. With no suffering, no pain, no hurt. And that. That is what we hold on to.

There are a couple of things I can learn from all of this that can help me sleep at night:

1. Gain a better understanding of justice. God is just. His very character is just. So when we, as sinful humans, try and determine what justice is, we are not ever going to be entirely accurate. God can not ever change, and therefore can never be anything but just.

Deuteronomy 32:4 For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. 

Psalm 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice.

Exodus 34:6 He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

Psalm 58:11 Surely there is a God who judges on earth.

Isaiah 61:8 For I, the LORD, love justice.

It makes no sense to me. No sense at all. But I can trust that there is a God who is just. Who loves justice. And who will not leave the guilty unpunished.

2. Gain a better understanding of the power of prayer.

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Prayer makes a difference. And I think one of the biggest tricks of the enemy is to get us to believe otherwise. To believe that our prayers really don’t make a difference one way or the other. If he can trick us there, we won’t pray. And if we won’t pray, we lose out on the most incredible power we possess…direct access to the Almighty God.

And so I trust and wholeheartedly believe that God is just. That these animals will be repaid for the heinous acts they are performing.   I trust and wholeheartedly believe that prayer changes things. And I will continue to pray for supernatural peace to come over these people who are suffering.

And I will hold on to this hope as an anchor for my soul. It holds me steadfast and secure. And it reminds me of the unchanging, always loving, compassionate and faithful God. This God who has overcome the world. And this is how I can sleep at night.

Surge Teen Leadership Conference 2014 – A Recap

Many of you have heard me talking about Surge for several months. It all started many months ago, when I felt like God wanted me to plan an event that was entirely designed for the Christian teenager who wanted to be a leader. I didn’t want it to be about a single church. I have been tiring of the sense I am getting from many churches who are making it all about their church, instead of the church.

God wants us all to be a part of a local body, yes. But He wants us all to be a part of the universal body of Christ as well.

Going into this entire thing, I felt completely under-qualified. 

This was actually a confirmation that it really was from God. That it was about God. Not me.

The way He works things out is amazing. I had met a girl named Kate when she met with me to discuss wedding photography. She booked me to shoot her wedding and we became great friends.

She was my conference administrator and was absolutely incredible. She is clearly gifted with administration and she was awesome in her role.

I wanted to have different workshops, giving kids the chance to pick things that would suit their needs.

We offered 6 different workshops, and they could each select 2.

*Building relationships with the lost, Karissa Wright

*Dealing with Christian stereotypes, Jennifer Boisvert

*Dreaming big- Pushing your dreams into action, Ron Townsend

*Being confident in sharing the Gospel, Ed Cilley

*Developing a stronger prayer life, Matt Currier

*Keeping your testimony as an athlete, Zach Boulter

We also had a main speaker who spoke at the beginning and at the end – AJ Hebert, 

and Adam and I spoke at a session with just the boys and just the girls.

I wanted everything to be just right. I designed a logo so we could order shirts, notebooks, and banners.

We bought Panera for breakfast, and also had a huge amount of yogurts donated from Stonyfield Farm

We had people donate gifts and gift cards to do giveaways.

We got a discount from Front Row Pizzeria for lunch.

And we were able to use Regeneration church in Exeter for the day.

I wish I could describe how everything was.

It was amazing. 

As I walked around during the conference and watched what was happening, I was so emotional. 
I was watching these incredible adults who had driven from many distances, gotten babysitters, switched schedules, just to be a part of serving others. With nothing expected in return.
I watched these teenagers taking notes, and really listening to the speakers.
And it was all just absolutely perfect.
 
Kate said it best when she told our leaders: New England (New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont) leads the United States as being the least churched and “religious” states in the union. You taking the time out of your busy schedule to shepherd our youth and speak on something that has kingdom lasting effects is pretty amazing when you think about it! 
The leaders for the day were godly, Biblical, unselfish and loving.
 
My goals for the day were:
#1. I wanted Christian teens to know that there were adults who believed in them and supported them enough to make a day away just for them. To help them rise up, grow in their faith, and be prepared to lead.
 
#2. I wanted these kids to know that they were not alone. That there were other Christian teenagers around them who also wanted to live lives that pleased God.
 
#3. I wanted them to leave feeling inspired and fired up to serve in greater ways. 
I wanted them to Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (1 Timothy 4:15)
 
I left this event feeling absolutely blown away at how perfectly everything had come together.
You go into something like this, and it can be so scary! What if no one comes? What if they all hate it? What if people don’t get along with each other? What was I ever thinking planning something like this? Who do I think I am?
 
But God is in complete control and He showed me that when He tells you to do something? 
You better just do it and let him control all the details. 
Here are a few of the pictures of the prep for surge, and also the event itself.
The pictures are only from various people’s phones, so for next year we should definitely hire a photographer. I wonder where I can find one of those…

Some of the testimonials from the teens who attended:

This was an amazing conference! I learned so much and I truly believe that I grew immensely in my walk with the Lord. Can’t wait for next year! -Alissa, age 14

For me, the best thing about Surge was getting to know more people and hearing their ideas, feelings, and testimonies. It also made me come out of my comfort zone in a good way by sharing my own thoughts with others. -Emily, age 16

Surge was incredible. I have never felt so close to God before. -Owen, 16

I think the surge conference was a great place to learn ways in which you can grow and use your leadership skills in a Christian environment. -Delaney, age 13

Thank you so much for organizing this event, I loved it. I will definitely try to make it to next year’s Surge! - Caleb, age 16

It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by Christian teens and leaders that were motivating me to be more Christ like even when I am not being held accountable. A quote I heard was “integrity is when you do the right thing when no one is watching” and I will forever remember that. -Madeline, age 16

Some words of testimony from the leaders:

Great conference. It was great to be a part of it. Thanks for asking me to. I thought it was wonderful in every way. It is exciting to see teens who are serious about walking with God. The thought of being used to help others move forward is exhilarating! -Ron

The best part, to me, was not only seeing the diversity in the room, from the leaders, all coming together to serve Him and bring Him glory by drawing the kids closer to Him, but also seeing the kids.  They were so “present.”  To know that they were spending a Friday in a church building, so that they could try to get better equipped to serve/share about the God who made and loves them, made me choke up.  I know that our Lord is, and is going to continue to, do amazing things through those young leaders of the faith.  -Jenn

God is so good. And the way He works and moves and brings people together is so fun to watch and so awesome to be a part of.

I am so grateful for everyone who played a part in this event.

For Kate, and all her ridiculously hard work the months before Surge.

For all my speakers, who I named earlier.

For my registration and prayer people – Ruth Grimes, Bekah Scadding, Ben Scadding, Ethan Boulter, Jenn Hebert, Brianna Currier.

For the worship leaders – Chris Bartell, Glen Cassidy.

For people from my church who sponsored many of the teens who went.

For the people who donated gifts as giveaways.

For the people who weren’t able to attend but still helped out with the administration part.       For everyone who played a part by praying and supporting this crazy dream that God gave me.

I am already planning for next year, and have the date and location selected!

If you are a leader, and looking for a way to serve, you are going to want to get on board! Please feel free to message me for more details. 

I am continuing to pray for all the teens who attended as they get ready to start another school year in a world that is getting continuously more difficult to take a stand for Christ.

I pray that you will Rise. Grow. And Lead like a crazy mad fool.

Until next year!

#surgeteen2014

 

Mommy Monday ~ Working more now so you can work less later

I have been looking back at some of my blog posts that I wrote years ago.

It reminded me of the long tiring days with 2 little boys in diapers.

Adam and I were leading youth group at our house, we were running our own business while Adam worked 2 jobs, and we were struggling financially. Life was not easy. Like. At all.

It’s good to look back and remember where you have been, and where God has taken you!

I am very passionate about godly, purposeful parenting (as most of you know) and am always blessed and encouraged when I see parents who are really parenting the way God wants.

Sadly, I feel that there are a lot of Christians who are being beguiled into thinking that God’s Word is not the ONLY answer. What I mean by this, is that a lot of people pick and choose the parts of the Bible they feel like obeying at the time.

I believe that God’s Word is the only answer!

Remembering back to the days of a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old at home…

a lot of my days were spent disciplining and disciplining, over and over.

I was not always consistent, obviously.

But I was really set on working more now so I could work less later.

I had 2 strong willed boys and they gave me a run for my money!

I believed that putting my kids in time outs went directly against the verse that says “A child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” I never put my kids in time out.

I believed that the verses involving a little more work and went completely against what just about every other person I knew was saying were the things that I thought God wanted me to implement into my kids discipline.

So I realized something very early on:

You work more now so you can work less later.

Let me give you 2 options that I had and what each outcome would look like.

I tell my son to pick up the cup off the floor and put it in the kitchen.

He says no.

Option 1.

Stay sitting on the couch (since I did only get about 2 hours of un-interrupted sleep last night and I am in the middle of reading a book to my other child.)

I can just pick up the cup later, and I don’t feel like moving right now.

Option 2.

Tell the son I am reading to that he needs to hold on for a couple of minutes.

Calmly get up off the couch

Take my disobedient son upstairs and bring my Bible and the paddle with me.

Discipline, hug, kiss, pray.

Go back downstairs and finish reading my story, while my now obedient son puts his cup in the kitchen.

Obviously option 2 takes a lot longer than option 1.

however

let me tell you the results of option 1 vs. option 2.

Fast forward 6 years

Result 1.

Tell your now 8-year-old son to go upstairs and get dressed for the day.

He ignores you.

Tell him again.

He starts whining, and continues to play his video game.

Tell him again.

He turns and says that he will do it when he is done

Tell him you are serious!

He stomps his feet and looks at you with eyes that are daring you to try and move him.

You throw you hands up and tell him that his father is going to have to deal with him when he gets home. (you both know he’s too big and strong for you to really handle at this point)

Result 2.

Tell your now 8-year-old son to go upstairs and get dressed for the day.

He says “yes mom”  and goes upstairs to obey.

See, this is the beguilement that we fall for…

We try things once, twice, maybe even 5 times.

but then mix it with not following through 6, 7 or even 10 times…

Then we don’t get the results we want, so we fall back to sitting on the couch.

I can not tell you how many times this has come to my mind this week alone -

I am so glad that I was consistent when they were little!!

Because the rewards I am enjoying now are so amazing,

And I don’t even remember most of the stressful days!

The benefits of working harder now?

Are that you will get to work less later!

My boys right now, at 13 and 11, continuously blow me away with their attitudes, their words, and their actions. It is so obvious that the work I put in on those seemingly never ending days were totally worth it.

So seriously believe me.

It is hard work. I get it. I have been there, and I understand how absolutely exhausted you feel.

But trust me when I say:

It will be totally worth it!!

You can do this! I know you can.

If you need some moral support, someone to bring you a coffee, or text you a crazy picture of myself to make you laugh…hit me up.

And since I am on vacation this week, I thought I would add a picture of my boys and my nephew having a little fun at the lake.