faith

How Do I Do It All? Plus A Free Peace Day Challenge Printable

#biblicalpeacedaychallenge

The last week or so has been challenging for me.

I am having flare-ups from my car accident.

Although the car accident was over six months ago, I seem to be healing more slowly than average due to the complexities of my health issues.

I am particularly struggling to remain peaceful with the amount of pain I am dealing with –often so much that I cannot even walk.

Earlier this week someone asked me how I do it all –how do I run a house, stay organized, do everything that I am supposed to do?

There is a simple answer: I don’t.

I simply don’t do it all.

I cannot do it all.

And, I don’t believe that God expects me to.

Every day, I am expected to get done what I can do.

If I cannot do it, I was not expected to do it that day.

God doesn’t expect from us what we cannot give.

He knows that we are frail humans, and He knows what we are capable of.

I have a rule that if I can’t do it without yelling, being unkind or not being peaceful, I’m not doing it.

My testimony in front of my children is more important than the task.

I am struggling to maintain that testimony, but I am striving to do so in spite of daily pain and immobility.

I don’t have some magic solution to life that makes me able to handle all of life’s challenges beautifully.

I am not super organized and a super mom.

What I have done is I have trusted God with the things that I cannot control.

I have trusted Him with the things I cannot do.

If I cannot do it today –either because my health or circumstances prohibit me– then God did not intend me to do it today.

If I understand this, it alleviates the frustration and guilt associated with trying to do it all and failing.

If what I do today is completely surrendered to the Lord, if I am okay with whatever He brings my way, then I will not be angry when I am unable to do the things that I thought that I was supposed to do.

I only feel out of control when I fail to remember that He is in control.

So, how do I do it all?

I don’t.

I don’t even try to do it all.

I try to do what is truly important –things that have eternal value.

I try to be a servant to my family –as much as I can be in a state of ongoing health problems.

And I surrender the rest to the Lord.

Most of the problems I have –most of the time that I have had anger– is when my ideas of how my day should go come face to face with how the Lord is allowing my day to go.

When things don’t go my way, it often results in anger if I cannot remember that He is in control of all, knowing all, directing all.

Far more important than if my house was cleaned today….

Or if dinner was made on time…

Or if all the dishes were done…

Or if my homeschool plan was fulfilled…

… is my testimony before my children.

How I respond when things do not go my way matters.

How I handle the imperfect situations shows my children how they should respond when things inevitably do not go their way.

It is our testimony to our children about whether or not we really believe that God is in control.

We say that we believe God is in control.

But do we show that in how we act?

The things that need to be done are never more important than the attitude we have while doing them.

We tend to think that our character is reflected in what we accomplish –if we get enough done– when in reality our character is reflected in how we do what we do.

The amount accomplished has little to do with it.

Do only what you can do with an attitude that honors the Lord!

We should be far more concerned with how we do things than how many things we accomplish.

We can trust what happens to the Lord who is in control of all.

And, we can never go wrong by focusing on our character –which is eternal– over our to-do list –which is temporal.

Below you can download some free printable to remind you to focus on your testimony to your children and family.

Choose PeaceClick here to download the above image

 

I have a rule that if I can't do it without yelling, being unkind or not being peaceful, I'm not doing it. My testimony in front of my children is more important than the task.

Click here to download the above printable

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

Advertisements
ADHD, illness

I Failed Flylady | What To Do If You Can’t Even Do Flylady

Once upon a time, this mom tried to follow Flylady.

If you’re not familiar with Flylady, it’s advertised as a program for even the most chaotic of people to get their homes and lives organized.

All my friends swore by it and promised that if I just tried, this would solve all my housekeeping problems.

I failed.

Miserably.

If they gave prizes for the worst failure, I’d surely have won.

Even the program made for super unorganized people was too much for me.

The problem was that Flylady did not address the actual issues in my life.

Issues like health, energy, focus, the ability to walk and not be dizzy, unexplained pain, etc.

15 years and more than 20 diagnoses later, I know what was inhibiting my ability to follow through.

At the time, I actually emailed Flylady and asked what they recommended I do if I was unable to follow their plan.

She replied saying that I probably had health problems that were keeping me from being able to follow through.

Since I had recently had a physical showing no problems I unwisely dismissed her explanation.

She was so right, but I wouldn’t learn how right for many years.

So, what do you do if you find yourself in a position where you can’t even do Flylady?

You’re not alone!

Here are some things you need to know:

1) If you have ADHD or some mental or physical health issues, be honest about it and how it affects your life and ability to maintain.

2) If you think you have something but don’t know why you can’t keep up, get help: get a diagnosis and treatment, and don’t give up advocating for yourself until you get answers –even if that means going through alternative medicine to get answers that “regular” doctors won’t consider like adrenal fatigue or autoimmune illness treatments. I had to do this, and it quite simply saved my life.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be honest with people about how you’re struggling –and if you can’t trust your friends with this, you need new friends. You need a support system. If the system of friends around you are anything but supportive, do yourself a favor and find a better support system.

4) Minimize. If you can’t control and manage your stuff, you need less stuff. Don’t let your desires get the better of you: be realistic. I know from experience that my house can quickly start looking like a hoarder (even though I’m not a hoarder) if I bring too many things into my house.

5) Be okay if it’s not perfect. A functioning cluttered house is better than a perfectly clean house where everyone is miserable or a hoarders house where your stuff is crushing you and causing shame. Find balance. I’ve known people with perfectly clean houses where everyone’s completely unhappy. People are more important than stuff, and your relationships are more important than the condition of your house.

6) Don’t buy into the American lie that the only “right way” to be is Type A and super organized. It takes all kinds, and there’s no shame in being who you are. Don’t waste your life trying to be something you’re not. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to run a house. It doesn’t have to be the “right” way.

7) Do what works to make the house function even if it isn’t the “right” way. For instance, one friend of mine dumps all her silverware in a drawer without sorting because her kids mess it up anyway. I don’t fold clothes. We either take it straight out of the dryer or put it unfolded in the drawers. No shame in doing what works. Let go of what you were told was the right way and stop trying to be something you’re not. I have other posts about this.

8) Prioritize: if you have very limited energy like I did, do not waste time and energy on silly things like shining a sink. I cannot justify energy to make my bed and clean the sink when I could be using my limited energy on something important like cooking. In my case, I could hardly walk and yet I was trying to go into the kitchen every single day and stand over the sink and scrub it out when I hurt too much to even clean the dishes. But –by golly– I was going to keep that clean sink empty and that sink shiny because that’s what I was supposed to do to stay on the plan. Even if that meant I couldn’t walk the rest of the day.

I thought I could get better at being organized by sheer willpower. I have a blog post about that, too. Sheer determination is not the answer to success.

The only way I’ve kept my house clean was paying someone or asking for help.

Because I’m physically unable to do it.

My children are older now and decided to take the cleaning on themselves.

I wish I could alleviate the guilt from myself and other people that I felt for the last 15 plus years of not being able to keep up.

Eventually, I started accepting this about myself, acknowledging that I couldn’t do it all and trying to be okay with my imperfection.

One thing that has helped me is to pick 2 or 3 things I can get done. If I get those done, I try 2 or 3 more.

I hope this helps others.

I hate to think of other moms out there struggling with this guilt.

When you can’t even do the cleaning method that’s supposed to work for the worst of the slobs, you really start feeling like a loser.

But, we can only do what our minds and bodies are healthy enough to do.

We are not the sum of our health or mental health issues.

And neither are they our fault.

No guilt, mamas!

Get help.

Get answers.

Get free of the guilt!

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith

Jesus Wants You to Be at Peace

Do you feel at peace?

Do you feel that you have calm in the storm you are facing right now?

Do you feel anchored and able to face all the things coming at you?

Do you feel that you have the tools you need to deal with the situations in your life?

Are you confident that you can handle any situation with peace?

Biblical Peace Day Challenge

I recently wrote a series about maintaining your peace and calm in the midst of life’s chaos.

I am the first to admit that I have not entirely mastered this topic, but I have made significant headway based on the methods I wrote about in these posts.

Now, when I lose my cool, I have the tools I need to look introspectively, observe my behavior and motivation, and adjust my behavior in the future.

The strength that comes from being peaceful is not something we normally think about.

We normally think that loud is strong –not quiet.

Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak.

Peace is within our grasp: it is what we are called to.

The following are the posts in the series I wrote about getting to a place of peace. If you find yourself without peace, yelling, stressing, constantly running trying to get everything done, take some time to read these.

Peace is possible.

Here are the posts in this series.

God has called us to peace….Peace Day Challenge, Part 1: We are Called to Peace

My testimony about learning to live in peace in spite of chronic health issues….Peace Day Challenge, Part 2: Even If the Healing Never Comes: Choosing Contentment

Verses to remind us to live in peace….Peace Day Challenge, Part 3: Scriptures Verses About Living in Peace

This is my challenge to you to spend one day in peace according to my conditions and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your life….Peace Day Challenge, Part 4: The Actual Peace Day Challenge

An example in my life of struggling to learn to be peaceful…..Peace Day Challenge, Part 5: Yes, I Still Lose My Cool Sometimes

This is how I use my peace day experiences to make my regular days function better….Peace Day Challenge, Part 6: Peace Day Challenge Reflections

Here are a few things I have learned from my Peace Day reflections:

1. Eat first when making dinner. Seriously. If you lose your temper while making dinner, try eating a high protein snack before starting. It will help you maintain your peace.

2. When you are in pain, do not try to correct your children. You will end up yelling at them. Ask your husband to do it or deal with it later.

3. If you hurt when you get home from the grocery store, wait until tomorrow to put non-perishables away. It won’t matter if the grocery bags sit on the floor for a day or two. If you’re in pain and push yourself, you will be impatient and unkind.

4. If you are stressed out, order pizza or go get a rotisserie chicken. It will give you time to relax and isn’t that expensive. Trying to make dinner when you are already stressed out will not help you maintain a peaceful existence.

5. On days when you don’t feel well, skip homeschool classes that require your help. It will use up all your limited energy and then you won’t have the energy for dinner or taking care of your family.

6. Get off social media when it is making you grumpy. You will transfer that to your interaction with your family. If you are grumpy, focus on God’s goodness instead of social media nastiness.

Those are just a few adjustments I have made to how I handle my life as a result of focusing on peace.

It is my prayer that this concept will be a blessing to those who read about it and bring peace to the homes of many families.

You can have peace in your house, mamas.

Take the Peace Day challenge!

Jesus wants you to be at peace.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith, homeschooling

40 Printable Bible Verse Flash Cards

Due to my children’s learning disabilities, they really struggled with memorization.

For that reason, I backed off Bible verse memorization a while ago and have just recently decided to revisit it.

I started by making a list of verses that I thought were important for them to have memorized and made them into flashcards.

Some of these they already have memorized, and others are simply my favorite verses.

It was important to me to avoid verses that have confusing interpretations.

This is just the start of Bible curriculum I am compiling for my boys.

Here is a sample of the flashcards.

Sample Bible Verse Flash Card.PNG

Download the PDFs (20 flashcards in each PDF; PDFs updated)

Bible Verse Flash Cards 1

Bible Verse Flash Cards 2

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

homeschooling

Dear Homeschool Curriculum: You’re Not the Boss of Me

Dear Homeschool Curriculum,

You’re not the boss of me.

But, I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure that out.

You are like a stern older teacher looking over her reading glasses at me disapprovingly, making me feel like a huge loser, but I have learned to ignore you.

I wish someone had told me that trying to follow you to the letter of your law would make me miserable.

I wish someone had told me that trying to follow you to the letter of your law would make my children miserable.

I wish someone had told me that strictly adhering to you would make my children resent me and cause problems in our relationship, making them feel like I cared more about your plan than I did them.

I wish someone had told me that not even public school and private school teachers adhere to you legalistically or even complete all of your pages but that they only pick and choose the parts of you that they need for their classes.

I wish someone had told me that the recommendations within your covers were just that —recommendations— and that children have unique needs that do not always, match your cold, rational, black-and-white plan.

I wish someone had told me it was okay to not do everything in your plan –it would have alleviated a lot of homeschool mom guilt when my child learned at his own pace like the unique and individual person that he is instead of in the way you said he was supposed to.

I wish someone had said it’s okay not to finish you and that we didn’t need to double up if we got behind.

I wish someone had told me that my fear of getting behind by not doing all of you was unfounded —that there is no behind in homeschool.

I wish someone had told me that “do the next thing” was a legitimate homeschool schedule and not just taking the easy way out, so I could just ignore whatever schedule was written in your pages.

I wish someone had told me to ignore you when you said to give glitter and glue to a 4-year-old and to do elaborate art projects with my children who have developmental disorders and fine motor skill problems.

I wish someone had told me that I wasn’t depriving my children when skipping the bazillion crafts, science experiments, and various assignments that made my children hate me and made me want to claw my own eyes out.

Even when I did skip those activities I felt guilty because you told me I was supposed to do them, and if I didn’t do what you said, I felt like a failure; I wish someone had said I wasn’t a failure –I was a teacher, and good teachers do what works best for their students to learn.

I wish I had learned earlier that you are not my boss!

You are just a tool —just one tool of many, many tools.

You’re a tool, but you are, by no means, my master.

I’m the master!

You’re a just book —which isn’t even necessarily the best homeschool tool out there!

I wish someone had said that just because other moms worship you and are willing to sacrifice their firstborn to you in the name of “a proper education” does not mean that I had to –and that I would be better without your or with very little of you.

I wish someone had told me that the best learning is not what kids only see in your pages, but that the best learning is multisensory, fun, child-led, and that which the kid doesn’t hate.

I wish someone had told me that media is a completely viable and legitimate learning method –not a cop-out for moms who couldn’t teach “the right way,” that the right way isn’t with books and worksheets: it’s whatever works best for the child.

I wish someone had told me that no child has a life-changing moment when doing one of your boring worksheets and that it was okay to throw it out in favor of joy-filled learning!

I wish someone had told me that putting my child’s needs first was the right way to homeschool.

I wish someone had told me it was okay to use you in any way that worked for me —regardless of your creator’s original intentions.

I wish someone had given me permission to burn you and all your friends if you didn’t work for my child’s needs; to try something new and then to keep trying new things until I found what worked for us with no guilt.

I wish someone had given me permission to free myself of all y’all and just enjoy my children and enjoy teaching them.

I wish I hadn’t been your slave for so long.

I wish someone had told me that our best learning would happen apart from you and that you were a self-imposed prison that I could free myself from.

I wish I had revolted a long time ago and ignored that voice in my head that said that you were “the right way” to educate my children.

I wish I could free the hundreds and thousands of homeschool moms out there who are shackled to you and making their children miserable not knowing they could be free, not realizing that they can say no to any or all of your recommendations or even throw out all of you and your friends if that’s what’s best for their child!

I wish I had followed my children’s interest and preferences a long time ago instead of expecting them to conform their interest to what you were forcing upon them.

I wish I had freed myself long ago from the shame associated with not doing your plan or not completing all your pages.

I wish someone had just told me that it is entirely and wholly right for me to do what worked best for my children regardless of what you or any expert said because you do not know and love my child like I do nor are you invested in them like I am.

I wish someone had told me that it was wrong to force my child to use you if you were causing emotional and psychological damage by pushing too hard or moving too fast or making them feel like a failure.

I wish someone had told me that you-based learning, meaning book-based learning, works really well for only one type of learning style but not all learning styles.

I wish someone had told me that you are a very small part of my children’s real education, that their real education is being my apprentice in real life and that you should never trump exposure to real life situations.

Basically, I wish I had trusted my instincts as a mom over you a long, long time ago.

And, I can guarantee you, I’ll never make that mistake again.

Because, you’re not the boss of me!

You never really were —but I just didn’t know it.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes