Stand Firmly in The Conqueror God Created You to Be! Romans 8:37

Romans 8_37

There are more days than less when I feel like anything but a conqueror.  Instead of feeling like a conqueror, I feel weak, tired, less than, and defeated. There are days when I just want to put the covers over my head and simply give up because the day in front of me is so overwhelming that I don’t want to face it alone. When I slip into this pit of defeat, I’m reminded that it isn’t my strength, but through the strength of God who loves me that I will get through the day. Regardless of how stressful or impossible it appears to be, God lifts me up to higher ground.

I run into trouble when I throw on depend on myself. When I think that I’m in control and a conqueror of my own is when I realize how weak I really am without fully relying on the one who loves me. God created us to be conquerors, to withstand even the unspeakable trials that fall upon us and he empowers us to stand against the spiritual battles we face every day. When we accepted Christ we were endowed with the Holy Spirit and the real power that comes through Christ.

If you’re in a season that is getting the best of you, that is tearing you down I want you to read Roman 8:37 and remember that not only are you a conqueror through His love, you are MORE than a conqueror! Sweet sister, put your full faith in the Lord and you will see a mighty blessing take place. You will experience what God is able to do in any situation big or small through you! Meditate on this scripture and etch it in your heart and mind whenever you are doubtful and ready to give up. God isn’t finished with you he is just beginning and there is much to conqueror in your path, but you are equipped with an everlasting love and the most powerful ally that ever lived…Jesus Christ. Now, stand firmly in the conqueror God created you to be!

7 Simple Tips for Moms On Getting It Done!

Basketball Team Sports Poster

Do you feel like you’re constantly scrambling to get it all done? I don’t think we ever really get it all done and if we do there’s usually a heavy price to pay physically and mentally. There’s always more to do, right? But, there are things we need to get done for our lives to run smoother. I find working two part-time jobs, driving my kid to dance 3 days a week plus Nutcracker rehearsal on the weekends, finding time to write, feed us, clean the house, volunteering and a host of other things can leave me feeling depleted and lashing out under the guise of being overwhelmed. Just looking at my unfinished yard can throw me into a tailspin, so what to do?

Here are 3 simple tips on how to get it done without completely losing your mind!

  1. Create Time Blocks: Setting aside chunks of designated time allows you to concentrate on that one thing you’re trying to accomplish. Even if you can’t finish it in one day, time blocking helps you make concrete steps toward completing your goal or project. For example, I need to clean the backyard for a party I’m hosting in November. I’m setting aside an hour and a half on Saturday, Tuesday for the next two weeks from 4:30-6:00 pm. I’ll mark it on my calendar and set an alarm on my phone for a reminder. I’ll get the yard finished without being completely overwhelmed in time for the party.
  2. Think About How You Can Help your Future Self: This may sound weird, but I’m prone to procrastination, so asking myself how I can help my future self is huge when it comes to me getting it done. When I’m ready to go to bed without preparing for next day, I ask myself, “how will this impact future Chere’s day?” So, if I decide not to prep for the next day, the morning is usually hurried, I’m crabby and rushed making for a not so great morning. But, if lunch is made, breakfast is planned, clothes are out and coffee is pre-set, I wake up feeling ready for the day. Asking yourself this simple question is a self-motivator to get it done.
  3. Time Your Chores: If you know how long it typically takes to get something done  it makes it easier to plan your day. For example, set a timer when you clean your living room. Once your finished take note of how long it takes you to finish. Of course this can vary, but it gives you an estimate on the time block you need to set aside to get it done.
  4. Say No: No is not a bad word. No can be a life saver. Saying no when you are overscheduled and overwhelmed will preserve your mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re saying yes to everything there is no white space to simply enjoy life and to focus on the people, projects and things that need your attention.
  5. Plan Out Your Week By Writing it Down: This seems like a no brainer, but it is such a simple step that can really organize our lives. Pick some time during Sunday or even Monday and write down everything you have to do for the week. I suggest including appointments, work commitments, extracurricular activities, household chores, etc. and then hang it somewhere you can see it. Having your to do’s in writing helps keep you on the right track.
  6. Unplug: In this tech savvy world we can easily be sucked into our phones, social media, and the internet. Be proactive and intentional about unplugging during your day. Put the phone away and you’ll be surprised how much you can get finished!
  7. Let Perfectionism Go! Trying to be perfect will slowly drive you insane. perfectionism keeps you in a state of discontentment because you’re always trying to do it better. Get it as good as it can get and move on. Life isn’t perfect. Striving for perfectionsim robs us from the joy of this imperfect life! If you done it is okay! The world will not stop spinning and everyone will survive!

Lastly make sure you ask for help! Get the kids involved, don’t be a supermom and reach out for help when you need it! Learn how to minimize, prioritize and rest as well!

Wisdom an Indispensable Friend … Proverbs 4:11-13

Ice Cream Party

In a world that has an insatiable appetite for everything material, there are only a few things that really matter and are consequential. What matters above riches is a relationship with Jesus,  wisdom, faith, and love. In these strange and trying times, I find myself angrier than usual, more easily offended and wanting to jump into the flesh in a New York minute. Everything seems a little louder, a lot more personal and there’s an underlying current of sadness and disappointment in and for the people in the world around me. I’ve been turning to the scriptures for solace and the word that is sticking in my head is wisdom.

Godly wisdom and not the world’s wisdom is an indispensable friend and guardian of my life as I weave in and out of situations that continue to surprise me. I am reminded to hold onto the instruction, to the God-breathed scripture and apply to my daily walk as a mom, a Christian and as a woman.  I am so grateful for the blueprint of the Bible as I continue to walk along this crazy path called life. I know in this flawed world there is one thing that is flawless and that is the wisdom of the scriptures and my Savior Jesus Christ.

6 Tips on Co-Parenting Through a New School Year

A new school year is upon us and the lazy days of summer will soon become a memory. It’s time to get back into the school routine and if you’re co-parenting that means getting on the same page so that your kids have a smooth transition and your stress level stays low.

Try implementing these 6 tips (or a few of them) on co-parenting through a new school year that will make life a little easier for everyone!

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Daily Dose of Scripture: Which Water Are You Drinking?

John 4-10

I’ve always loved the story of the Samaritan woman. A story of forgiveness, redemption and a revelation of truth. Although I’ve never had five husbands, I do understand drinking from the well of the world.  The well with its enticing water that quenches your thirst for a moment, an hour, perhaps a day, but leaves you dehydrated and always needing more. The water that is so satisfying for a short time, but never really makes you full, but only empty.

Like the Samaritan woman when I first had a taste of the real living water it was beyond anything I had ever tasted. Finally, I wasn’t thirsty! No, longer was I searching for the elusive well that would fix my permanent thirst. I wasn’t dipping my cup into waters that offered empty promises, my cup was constantly full.

I think about when my lips first tasted this living water, a day that would be etched in my mind. Also, like the Samaritan woman, my shame was washed away. The chains of my past fell off. My identity was no longer defined by my mistakes, but it rested in Christ. The water had given me a new life, one that was a spring bubbling with faith, hope, joy, and contentment. It’s that spring that bubbles to the surface and inspires you to share your testimony so others are encouraged to drink the living water, to be refreshed, redeemed, and to live in the fullness of the Lord’s love. I often think of the Samaritan woman’s story when the world’s wells are calling me back to drink from its water. I remember the thirst and then I pull out the cup the Lord has filled and there is no comparison.

Dragging? Try These 10 Simple Steps to Boost Your Energy!

-my mother used to tell me that all the time.it was the best advice i ever got.-allie chardin

Are you dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? Or is it the afternoon slump that hits you hard? I’ve experienced both and on the same day! Life is busy as a single mom! You don’t have to feel depleted.

Try these 10 Simple Tips to Boost Your Energy!

  1. Make a Date with Jesus- When our spiritual life is out of whack we lack energy. The very first thing you should always do is have a little talk with Jesus! When you dive into the word and get spiritually fed it carries over to every area of your life.
  2. Sleep! Consistent shut-eye can do wonders. If you’re staying up until the wee hours of the night and waking up exhausted you’re doing some serious damage to your body. Get a good night sleep, ideally 7-8 hours, but if you can’t figure out the amount of hours you need to sleep to not feel like a zombie the next day.
  3. Exercise– When you start physically moving all kinds of endorphins are released that make you feel good! There are gyms such as Planet Fitness that are $10 a month that make it incredibly affordable. Not a gym gal? It’s okay! You can get exercise simply by walking or even jogging in place. Try to make exercise a part of your daily routine and not only will your health improve, but so will your energy levels.
  4. Feed Your Body with Healthy Food- If you feel your body with junk you feel like junk right?Try to incorporate as many fresh fruit, veggies, lean meat, and grains. Instead of grabbing a sugary donut for a snack opt for some pre-cut veggies and fruit. Prepare small baggies so you can just grab them on the go.
  5. Stay Hydrated-When you’re dragging it can simply be because your dehydrated. Drink water. It’s that simple.
  6. Take Vitamins– Ask your doctor about the vitamins they suggest you take. Most common are a multivitamin and a B12, but you may be lacking a certain vitamin that has your body completely out of whack.
  7. Stay Away From Emotionally Draining People– This isn’t meant to come off harsh, but there are people who literally drain you until you’re a puddle on the ground. Try to keep a healthy distance from people who are negative and live in a place of stinking thinking. It’s contagious so the most effective antibiotic are boundaries.
  8. Talk to Someone Who Is Uplifting! We all need those friends who can pick us up and when necessary whip us into shape. They are energy boosters! Maybe it’s your parent, a friend, a minister, whoever it is have a good old heart to heart, you’ll walk away feeling a whole lot better.
  9. Take a Time Out– When everything is spinning out of control, chances are you are too. Sometimes you have to get off the crazy train and take a time out. You don’t have to hop on a plane to a remote island (although not a bad idea!) but you can create some serenity by simply taking a step back. Maybe your time out place is your bathroom, a closet, the back porch, or your parked car. Find a place to unwind and take a breath.
  10. Do Something You Enjoy– When we’re happy, engaged and passionate we have boundless energy. When you’re feeling low go back to your sweet spot, that happy place and do what it is that you love! It will give you the boost you need.

What’s Your Narrative as a Single Mom? Create The Story You Desire!

travelle

I’ve had women approach me and say, “you seem really happy,” or “you make being a single mom seem not so bad.” In fact for the most part I am happy. I’m content and I got my groove down as far as the single mom part goes. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience my share of struggles and trials. I’m just like every other woman who is raising children, because let’s face it whether you are a single mom, married mom, whatever your status is…parenting is serious and sometimes scary business and we all got the scars to prove it! For me, arrving at a place of contentment was and is an intentional journey that I work on because I refused to accept a story that didn’t fit the life I was living, so I changed it.

I can genuinely say that I do feel complete and so does my daughter. She doesn’t feel like she’ from a broken family or a statistic. She feels loved, secure and part of a family regardless of the size. When I first became a single mom I worried about creating a sense of family in our home and at times I allowed outsiders to shape the narrative of my life instead of creating my own. What a disservice we do to ourselves and our kids when we permit others to tell us what’s going to happen in our lives. What’s dangerous is when we start believing them and our actions and thoughts begin to reflect this preconceived notion of what is most likely going to happen to us as ‘single parents.’ If you’re struggling with insecurity about being a single parent, ask yourself if you’re creating the narrative you desire for your life or are you allowing the whispers of naysayers and to take root and wrap itself around your family.

Only you are responsible for creating the narrative of our life. You are planting the seeds of what you want to cultivate in your garden. If you believe your family is broken then it is! If you believe your children are lacking, they will be! If you rely on feeling whole by your marital status instead of on your relationship with God then you will always feel a void, regardless if you’re single or in a relationship. You are the storyteller of your life so don’t leave it in the hands of another narrator or in the shadows of the past.

A major stumbling block for single moms is refusing to let go of a life that no longer fits who they are  instead of embracing what remains. They keep trying to breathe air into it and in turn they get breath sucked out of them. Trying to relive an old story never works. It’s like quick sand, every step you take sinks you further in, putting a halt to your progress to move forward until it eventually suffocates you. God doesn’t want you to sink, he’s reaching out his hand to pull you out of the quick sand of an old story because he wants you to rise to the purpose he has in store for you as a woman, a mother and a child of God. He wants your narrative to be based on his truth for you not in the lies of Satan.

God can redeem and restore any situation. Do you think God looks at you and your family as being incomplete? I don’t believe that for a minute. God doesn’t work that way! Step into the narrative God has for your life. Let your story be filled with pages of grace, determination, endurance, love, forgiveness, laughter, family and purpose.

How do you perceive your story? Are you relying on someone else to write the pages? Do you have confidence in who you are as a mom? Are you happy with the family dynamic you’re choosing to create? If you aren’t then change the narrative, it’s your choice. Speak to yourself differently, create another vision for your life, and think about years from now when you look back, will you say your time was well spent or did you spend a lot of time trying to live up to a narrative that was never yours in the first place? If you live in a place of I can’t instead of I can then you won’t.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that God has a purpose for you, but your narrative has to match what a child of God deserves. It isn’t always easy because you have to change your thought and belief pattern, but it is possible. Maybe it requires healing, forgiveness, or something only God can do, but go to him in prayer and ask him to change your story. God is listening! Know that you are capable of creating the life you desire in God’s will, but how you view and speak of yourself and your family will determine if you get the life you want or you settle for less. We only live once, live well!

June Series: Summer Fun On the Cheap For Moms!

Swap the Dining Room Table for a Summer Picnic

Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re a single mom, most likely you’re already thinking about budgeting for back to school clothes, supplies, maybe tuition or summer camps. But, there are a number of fun, bonding and inexpensive activities you can do in them summer with the kids that will keep your budget on track. This June Series of ‘Inexpensive Summer Fun,’ will give you ideas to implement throughout the next three months.

One of my favorite inexpensive summer activities is to swap your dining room table for a dinner picnic outside. You have to eat right? Why not do it under the blue sky on a blanket? You can have a picnic in the park, in your yard, or maybe at an outdoor event. Ask the kids to help put together their favorite dinner, dessert and drinks and head outdoors!

10 Activities to Do With The Kids In DC on Memorial Day Weekend!

Swing Into Summer

Memorial Day weekend doesn’t have to be spent on the road if you live in DC metro area. There are some fun activities going on in your own backyard. Have a staycation and spend more time with the kids and less time on the road. Here are 10 Ideas to have fun with the kids this holiday weekend.

  1. Jazz in the Garden at the National Art Gallery: Enjoy live music from 5-8:30 pm. Spread a blanket, get some yummy food from the cafe and hang out with the kiddos for FREE. This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer!
  2. PBS National Memorial Day Concert: This weekend is meant to honor our men and women who sacrifice their lives. This FREE concert on the west lawn at the US Capitol on Sunday, from 8-9:30 PM.
  3. Free Outdoor Movies: Check out the complete lineup for 2017 for DC/MD/VA and lay out under the stars.
  4. Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit:We’ve visited this exhibit several times and it’s magical! Visit Brookeside Gardens at 1500 Glenallen in Avenue in Wheaton MD from 10-4 pm. $8 ages 13+; $5 ages 3-12; Free ages 0-2.
  5. Hometown Holidays in Rockville: Enjoy this 3 Day FREE Festival with 7 stages, entertainers, kid’s rides, teen activities, VisArts Fine Arts, and a parade in Rockville Town Center.
  6. Strawberry Picking at Butlers Orchard:  My absolute favorite place to pick strawberries is open from 10-6 pm. Strawberries are $2.79 a pound. They are delicious!
  7. Viva Vienna Festival: FREE Festival with food, games, entertainment, amusement rides and vendors. Saturday-Sunday from 10am-10 pm and Sunday from 10 am-6pm.
  8. Delaplane Stawberry Festival: A fun 2 days of everything strawberries, games, music, and vendors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Advance tickets are $20 per car. This would be a great activity to split with friends.
  9. National Memorial Day Parade in DC: The annual parade starts at 2 pm. Get there early so you can get a good spot and visit the many free museums after that are open.
  10. Hangout at Georgetown Harbor: Get a tasty cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes, if you’re a cat lover visit Crumbs & Whiskers where you can grab a coffee and even adopt a kitten, or just walk along the harbor!

Enjoy! Go out and make some memories!