Archive | Solutions for Busy Moms

Simple solutions to ease the pains and stresses of a being a busy mom.

Recipe Share!

Time for another recipe share (or two) that is easy, delicious and healthy!  On the menu today is Crockpot Chicken Tacos and Gluten Free Banana Bread.  The chicken is so diverse and can be customized which my kids love, it’s in the crockpot which I love and the banana bread is a gluten free treat that we can all enjoy and is completely devoured by my whole family.

CROCKPOT CHICKEN TACOS

1 taco seasoning packet or use homemade

6 frozen tenderloins or 3 breasts (if fresh, takes 2-3 hours less cooking)

2 cup fresh pico de gallo

1/4 c olive oil

1/4 c water

***Spray the crockpot with non-stick spray.

Take taco seasoning packet and cover the bottom of the crockpot.

Lay the chicken on top of the seasoning.

Cover chicken with pico.

Pour water and olive oil on top of everything.  Do not stir.

Cook 6 hours on high if frozen, 4 hrs on high if fresh.

Shred chicken and cook for 3o minutes more.  Serve on tortillas (we use gluten free) with sour cream, lime and anything else you desire.

 

GLUTEN FREE BANANA BREAD

Find the recipe Here (which I modified to my liking)

2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4. tsp. salt

4 eggs

2 c. mashed ripe bananas (4-5 medium)

1 c. sugar (I use 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c stevia

1/2 c. applesauce unsweetened (I use homemade)

1/3 c. canola oil (or any oil you prefer- I like coconut oil)

1 tsp. vanilla

add chocolate chips or walnuts if desired (I like to use cacoa chips)

***Mix dry ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl.  Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well.  Put mixture in (2) 8×4 bread pans.

Bake at 350′ for 45-55 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

 

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7 principles that can restore your marriage

20My husband and I recently went through a trying season in our marriage. I’m willingly transparent and open about this for one reason… if sharing these thoughts will encourage even ONE person to keep on fighting for their marriage, then it would have served it’s purpose. I’m so glad we didn’t give up on each other, because we have emerged stronger and our marriage is happier now than ever.

7 principles that can restore your marriage

  1. Here’s an interesting fact I learned in a family studies class in college.  They surveyed couples that rated their marriage as unhappy and followed up with these couples after 5 years.  Turns out 85% of unhappy couples bounced back!  After the 5 year period, they rated their marriage as happy or very happy.  Not all marriages work out of course, but when things get rocky, it’s good to remember the odds and keep the hope alive.
  2. I’ve learned to shift my perspective and see relationships as a “total package” deal.  The weakness of your partner is the price you pay for all their strengths. When you marry them, you marry ALL of them… the good and the bad. The known and the unknown. The past, the present AND the future. Here’s what I realized… dealing with my husband’s weaknesses is simply the cost to have such an overall ROCKIN man. Besides… he puts up with all my nonsense too!
  3. There is a force of darkness hell bent on destroying marriages because the deepest source of joy in this life comes from these precious family relationships. One day we realized we had to stop fighting each other and instead fight against the real enemy. Because the truth is, when your partner loses, you lose too. Placing blame in marriage is like saying, “your side of the boat is sinking.”
  4. What you focus on expands!!  I was teaching kids at church about gratitude once, so I asked them to look around the room for 1 minute and try to find as many yellow things as they could.  Then I told them to close their eyes and asked them to repeat to me everything in the room that was purple.  They couldn’t do it.  Not one single thing.  When we become so focused on one bad habit or weakness, we miss out on all the beauty there in plain sight. So when we choose to magnify the good, that’s what we’ll see!
  5. We can’t change or control anyone. Only God has that power.  All we can do is to be an example and be their best friend.  That will do more to help people improve than anything else we could say or do.
  6. Love is simply a choice. Stephen R. Covey once said, “Love is a verb. Love the feeling is a fruit of love the verb.” If you feel you’re falling “out of love” that just means you need to serve each other, sacrifice for each other, listen to each other- really listen. If we both wake up every day and ask ourselves, “What can I do today to make life easier for my best friend” we simply can’t fail.
  7. Most of all, I’ve learned to rely on the Lord and trust Him. Many counselors have noted that they’ve never seen a couple in serious marital trouble who were still praying together daily. There is true power in seeking Lord’s help to restore the love and light in our marriages. Jesus Christ is the ultimate healer. He not only heals our bodies but our relationships too. He can and He WILL breathe life into our marriages if we ask Him in faith.

These are 7 principles that healed and restored our marriage.Happy and free woman facing the sun.

What principles have you lived by to help heal your marriage?

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The first and greatest commandment

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:38-39)

Blessings of Keeping a Journal

Today I read through a journal I’ve kept over the last few years and noticed something that really made an impact on me. I marked each day I had prayed and studied the scriptures and noticed the periods in my life that I had done these things consistently were the times I wrote about deep contentment and serenity.  My marriage was rock solid, and I seemed to have more patience with the kids.  It’s not that my life was free of trials during these times, but I seemed to have a greater resolve and strength to get through those trials – a strength beyond my own.

Make time for the Lord

Prayer and scripture study are gospel basics that I KNOW I need to do. But the challenge is in the DOING and doing it consistently and doing it right. Admittedly, I’ve done it all wrong too often. There are days when I’m completely sleep deprived. I’ve been up with an infant or a sick child, so I wake up with just enough time to scramble to get myself and everyone else ready. So in other words, I make time for everyone… except the Lord.  The rush of the day begins, and I have every intention of praying and reading scriptures during the day, but sometimes, somehow I get distracted or pulled in so many directions that it just doesn’t happen.  “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:4) My intentions are good but I just don’t always have the discipline to follow through.  But the truth is…  “If you can’t find time to pray or read scriptures, you’re busier than God ever intended you to be.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Communicate with Him more sincerely

Another mistake I’ve made is to be too casual with prayer and use “vain repetitions”. Or I’ll start a prayer, and allow my mind to wander off onto something else, or on occasion, if it’s a bedtime prayer, I’ve even fallen asleep in the middle of it. Although I believe the Lord is pleased with any sincere effort we make to communicate with Him, I think He expects more from us. He asks us to be sincere and penitent. Thankfully, He is eternally patient and kind with me and with all of His children. He wants to bless us! And He already knows what we need but we must ask Him in prayer. I love this quote from the Bible dictionary, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” and ” … your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8).

I think as mothers in particular, we have a great need to renew ourselves spiritually each day. As much as I adore my children and LOVE what I do, motherhood and homemaking can be exhausting. So we especially need to draw upon the power of God so we can best serve our families. To let Him pour his love into us, so we can pour it into our loved ones.  They deserve nothing less than a balanced wife and mother who has made time to commune with the Lord.

Make God your priority

So I made a decision to be more consistent in prayer and it has been a great blessing in my life. Sometimes all it takes is ONE small choice, we just have to make up our minds, and choose to put Him first. The change came about as I asked myself, what is the single MOST important thing in my life? And the answer came, it is truly my relationship with God and my love for Him. So who then should get first priority in my life? Not my husband, not my kids, not even myself… God should! So I decided the very first thing in the morning– every morning– my knees will hit the floor, to show my love and devotion to Him each day. It’s a simple ritual, but it makes a tremendous difference in my life.

I know there is power in prayer. When I sincerely pour out my heart to Him… I literally feel the burdens lift. Sometimes the problems remain, but I can let go of the negative and worrisome thoughts, and choose to be happy and trust in the Lord.

I even put a pillow down beside my bed, as a symbol and a reminder of my desire to keep the first and great commandment.  It is now a permanent fixture beside our bed.

“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can” Pres. Benson declared. “He willJesus Christ Knocking deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life” (Teachings, p. 361).

He truly does make more out of us than we could ever make of ourselves. And that is what I noticed in my journal I discovered me without Him… and me with Him. And I definitely prefer the latter! And I think my family does too. 🙂

So we have a choice. We can choose to go it alone in life, relying on our own strength, our own intellect, and our own abilities, or we can trust in Him to walk us through this life and compensate for what we lack. He wants to bless us and fulfill the petitions of our hearts but we must take the initiative and let him in.

What do you do to make God a priority and improve your communication with him?

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Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life Text written on notebook pageThis challenge is all about getting yourself to the next level spiritually by slowing down, taking a look at what is most important and focusing on organizing our lives for 30 days so we can truly enjoy and do what we really want to do! I’m excited to share something I learned in the last couple weeks because it is AMAZING!! I have always been a little too unrealistic when it comes to setting and reaching goals. I’d have all these great ideas of how I wanted to change and what I wanted to accomplish. I’d comb the internet, ask others for tips and tools, try to get my goals organized and implement them, but undoubtedly, I’d find too many great things to fill my time with, waaay more tips than I could digest, and afterwards, my calendar would be so ambitious and full that just looking at my monthly plans was overwhelming! I felt like I needed to do all these great things to be a wonderful Mother, but at the same time didn’t know how I possibly could! Mind you, every gal needs to have direction and things that stretch us to reach for something greater, but at what cost? Dallin H. Oaks, teaches, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” So, be mindful of what goes on your calendar—make sure those things are truly worthy of your time and are the BEST things for you and yours right now.

Now for the amazing new (to me) way of thinking about your goals!! A mentor of mine, Carolyn Cooper, asked back in December what word(s) I would choose for 2016. I’d never thought of doing that, but instantly two words popped into my mind—“peace” and “empowerment”. That surprised me! I usually have to think and think and go back and forth finding just the right ones…but this time I was blessed to just have that clarity. After that, I decided I truly wanted to see how those words show up for me this year. The more I thought of my goals, the more I realized; my goals really do fit with these two words! Then I had a flood of information and motivation and my plans for taking action for the month just came together so easily. It felt a little unreal and I am super grateful!

I hope you find this Challenge to be of as much value as I do and that you can find a balance between what is most important and what is best for you and your family. Just remember, we are ever growing, rising, and becoming. So keep at it! After 30 days, you’ll be amazed at how just by simplifying, your life will be so much more full.

  1. Take some time to be still: Find a quiet spot with minimal distractions (What’s a quiet spot, right? ha-ha) and just take some time to breathe, listen, feel gratitude, say a prayer if you like, and then ask the question, “What is/are my word(s)for this year?”
  2. Once you get your word(s) grab a pen and get going on the worksheet! It’ll help you identify the things you most want right now and help you figure out how to get that organized! It’s simple and I know that as you truly strive to put the pieces together, they will come! Have faith and be open to those around you that can lend support or be hired to help you make things happen!
  3. Comment on our Facebook or Instagram! We’d love to know what words come up for you and how your experience with using the worksheet goes!

 

Background Words Worksheet

Woo-Hoo! You’ve figured out your background words! Congrats for being open and willing to try something a little different! So I’ve put this handy little worksheet together using my own goals and thought process as examples. You gals can help me stay accountable now! 😉 Okay, time to start filling this thing out! Just remember, “To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.” –Russell M Ballard

My background word(s) is/are________________________________________________________________________________.

Examples:

  • Peace
  • Empowerment

1. What is/are my goal(s)?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Keep my priorities in order.
  • Go out with the Hubbs once a week/learn to ask better questions! (Can I get an Amen?!)
  • Complete certification for Simply Healed.)

2. What does that feel like to you?

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • I feel peace and empowerment when I diligently get up early so I can spend time with God through prayer, studying His word, and journaling about it.
  • I feel empowered when I take time to learn about what my husband likes so I can ask about it later. (and not feel like a fool!) 😉
  • I feel empowered when I make time and block it out for my personal development goals.

Okay, so now you’ve identified your words, your goals, and how those words relate to how you feel about your goals. Pretty cool, right?! Doesn’t it take on a whole new level of importance to accomplish these goals now that we can see how they would actually create the feelings of our inspired words and affect us for the better? So NOW WHAT???

3. GRAB your CALENDAR!!!!

Here’s a clean and empty one for ya! Now it’s time to take the opportunity to plan and implement your goals!

Ask yourself about your goals and figure out what times and days they need to be on the calendar.

Examples:

  • How am I going to keep my priorities in order? For me that means getting up earlier than the rest of my clan for a certain amt. of time so it will be ideally quiet and I can focus on taking time with God. So, on my calendar I put “Priorities” at 4:30 am. (Seriously, I am a recovering night owl! This is a HUGE sacrifice for me!! But SO very worth it!
  • My husband and I figured we could take turns planning our dates and we’d go the same night and time each week. Once I planned these out for 3 months I emailed our sitter with the days and times to get a confirmation that she would be available.
  • I have classwork and phone calls and energy work sessions that all need time to happen. So I blocked off certain days and times, the same every week, to support that and labeled it “Simply Healed”.

I have to say, doing this has seriously changed how smoothly the last couple weeks have run! My mornings start fresh on a serene and motivated note, I look forward to Fridays with new excitement because I KNOW I’ll be going out with my handsome hubby and he’ll be dazzled with my sudden interest in politics, and I am excited and confident I will reach my deadlines for my certification because the time is blocked and ready for me to work! I am SO grateful for this way of planning. It works for me and I hope it works for you too!!


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