SMM 014: How to Recognize God in Simple Ways + Battle Loneliness and Negative Thoughts || Michelle Garfield

Recognize God in Simple Ways

“This challenge really was an answer to a prayer for me, which is why I jumped on it the second that I saw it. … It’s changed my life and it was so simple. That’s what I loved about this challenge was that it wasn’t like I had to be immersed spiritually for eight hours a day. It was just simple little things, recognizing what I need to do to feel the Spirit and feel God in my life more and more importantly to recognize it.” –Michelle Garfield

Show Recap

Today I am interviewing Michelle Garfield. I met Michelle through Instagram when she participated in the challenge I did, Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom. She shared with me the things she learned from doing the challenge and how it helped her with her relationship with God. I invited her to come on the podcast so we could dive in more.

Michelle loves being a mom and loves how motherhood has helped her to learn and grow and improve herself. She talks about how she deals with the hard days in motherhood and how God taught her about resiliency. She has learned to recognize angels in her life, both seen and unseen, as communication with God.

Loneliness has been a part of Michelle’s motherhood experience, and she has an amazing perspective on how to overcome feeling left out. “If you’re not invited to the party, then throw the party yourself.”  Michelle has great ideas about how to reach out and create a community right where you are.

Michelle is real and candid. She shares how her experience with the Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom challenge changed her perspective on how God communicates with her. Michelle knows her thoughts are directly connected to her relationship with God, so she is working to change her thinking.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Michelle:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/realblissfullife
Website: www.realblissfullife.com

Here is the quote Michelle shared: “No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.” –Jeffrey R. Holland

Get access to the Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom workbook by clicking HERE. Checkout the story highlights on @spirituallymindedmom on Instagram for videos.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 013: Overcoming Anger + Showing Faith When Your Motherhood Plan is Not God’s Plan || Misty Trendler

When Your Motherhood Plan is Not God’s Plan

“I’ve had good days and bad days and I think that’s okay. I think that I am definitely more aware of the good days because I have had the bad days of not believing and the anger, so when I have those good times and I feel that, that he’s there,  I can build on that. … I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and what He’s blessed me with. And I’m so grateful that I have Him to lean on at times of hardship and good and know that He is there. Not always can you hear Him when you want Him but He will be there at a time that’s maybe unexpected if you truly listen and you truly look back and think, ‘He was there for me,’ and you look at the positive.”  –Misty Trendler

Show Recap

I have never personally known anyone who has faced as much adversity in motherhood as my sister-in-law, Misty Trendler. She has had numerous trials from her first child being stillborn, to being given a choice to abort a baby to enduring struggles in adoption. Misty is no stranger to adversity in motherhood.

In this interview, you’ll learn Misty’s story of motherhood and her relationship with God has many layers. At times, she’s been filled with faith and had the ability to totally turn things over to God and trust Him and yet, in other situations, she has experienced anger and frustration and has questioned God. Her story shows that we don’t have a static relationship with our Heavenly Father. We go through ups and downs with Him and that’s okay. It’s all part of the process to help us grow and become closer to Him.

You’ll see how Misty has learned to see the miracles and the blessings through the difficult situations she has endured. Most of all, you’ll learn how she has been able to keep her faith and come to know that God’s plan for her and her family was not her plan but was exactly what she needed to become the person God wants her to be.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Get access to the Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom workbook by clicking HERE. Checkout the story highlights on @spirituallymindedmom on Instagram for videos.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

 

 

Want to be a Better Mom? Write in your Journal

I was scrolling Instagram the other day and noticed a blogger asking moms to chime in on what a typical day looks like with working, making dinner, shuttling kids to activities and everything else a mom does. Hundreds of moms responded, and I got tired just reading all of the comments. I didn’t see one mom mention “weekly journaling” as one of her top priorities, but journaling is a great way to improve your mothering.

I recently read this article about how journaling can help executives improve leadership skills. The article was in Harvard Business Review and is obviously geared towards business leaders but when I clicked over to read it, I couldn’t help but think how the principles the author shares for business leaders also apply to mothers.

In the article, the author, Nancy J. Alder, said this:

“Extraordinary leadership is rooted in several capabilities: seeing before others see, understanding before others understand, and acting before others act. A leader’s unique perspective is an important source of creativity and competitive advantage. But the reality is that most of us live such fast-paced, frenzied lives that we fail to leave time to actually listen to ourselves.” (emphasis added)

Alder is describing leaders, but go back and read this quote and replace “leadership” and “leader” with “motherhood” and “mother.”

See what I mean?

As a busy mom, wouldn’t you love to be one step ahead (with eyes in the back of your head), sense what your kids are feeling and thinking and take action? And having a little time to “actually listen to ourselves” sounds like a mom’s dream come true!

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve tried and failed to write in your journal in the past. Or maybe, you already feel so overwhelmed there is no way you’re going to add one more thing to your busy life.

I totally get it. I’m right there with you. Stick with me and I’ll show you an easy format for you to start up your weekly journal writing.

First, let’s talk about some of the incredible things you’ll gain as a mother when you take the time to write your thoughts and what’s going on each week.

Prioritize

If you’re like me, you’ve got a million things swirling around in your brain. When I have a lot of stuff going on in my life in addition to all of the worries I have as a mom, I open my journal and just start to write. I don’t worry about my handwriting and my grammar. I just write and get everything out of my head and onto the paper. Surprisingly, this practice always helps me understand what I am feeling and helps me see what is truly important and what I might be able to set aside.

Process Thoughts and Feelings

Journaling helps you process thoughts and feelings. In an article titled Dealing with Stress and Discouragement, a mother explained how journaling helps her:

“My notebooks and journals are priceless. Some people are willing to pay professional counselors to listen as they unravel what’s in their head or their heart. For me, writing down my thoughts and feelings has been an unfailing source of revelation about my own inner self. Especially when I feel stressed out, discouraged, or down for any reason, I write what I’m feeling (often just a list of ‘I feel …’ sentences), and I am usually able to clarify what it is that is weighing on me. Then I can deal with it more effectively. Sometimes I fill a whole page with my frustrations before I begin to see what’s really bothering me. I have come to know myself intimately through my own writing.”

Gain Perspective

I always feel God prompting me to write when I am facing big decisions, trying to overcome struggles or going through something that’s going to help me grow. A few years ago, my family faced extreme financial difficulties and I wrote weekly about the frustrations, feelings and thoughts I had about the situation in my journal.

Now, when I go back and read about that time, I see so clearly how God was guiding our family. I couldn’t see it when I was going through it, but writing has helped me gain perspective on those trials and shown me that God was right there with me.

Recognize Blessings and Feel Gratitude

In addition to perspective, keeping a journal helps you recognize blessings and feel gratitude. Henry B. Eyring, an avid journal writer, shared these thoughts.

Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’ As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.” 

It will be easier to see your blessings when you are looking for and writing about what God is doing for you in your life.

Remember What You’ve Learned

Writing things down will help you remember life lessons you are learning. Last week a teacher at church texted me and asked me to share an experience in her lesson for the next Sunday. I wasn’t sure what to share but turned to my journal and found something that applied to her topic. After I shared the experience I had written about, I realized I may never have remembered the details if I hadn’t written them down. I don’t want to have to repeat the lessons I am learning as a mom and in life. Writing them down means I won’t forget.

Printable Journal Template

Now that you know some of the great benefits of writing, here’s an easy way for you to get started.

journal templates for moms

Choose from 3 different templates to print and use.

I created a template you can print out weekly to start writing. (Go HERE to get access to the template.) Sometimes it’s hard to get started, so this journal page has space for you to jot down different things. Here’s what you’ll see when you print the template out.

Good Things

Write the memories you have of the week. I like to write the little, mundane things we did like the first swim of the year or that I had to wake my boys up in church three times or that I let my 14 year old back the car out of the garage (and the look on his face was priceless!). It’s fun to go back and remember these little things that I will probably forget later.

Lessons Learned

Write something you learned or thought about. Your lesson could be related to motherhood, a spiritual prompting you felt, something a friend said or anything else.

How Did I See God in My Life

This goes along with the quote from Henry B. Eyring above. It’s important to take time to think about and recognize how you have seen God in your life. When you write it down, you are more likely to recognize the tender mercies the Lord gives you everyday.

gratitude

Gratitude

Write down a few things you are grateful for from the week. I love this quote by Michelle Gifford, “One of the biggest punches to the adversary is gratitude and a recognition of God’s hand in your life.” Recognizing God in your life and writing down the things you are grateful for will help you keep Satan out.

Quote or Scripture

Write a quote or scripture that has stuck out to you during the week.

Thoughts

Finally, you have space to write whatever you want. I use this template on a regular basis and some weeks I use this space and some weeks I don’t. The beauty is that filling out the boxes will only take a few minutes and you’ve got a record of your week. You don’t have to fill pages and pages to reap the benefits I mentioned above.

You can print the journal template here. I printed mine double sided, cut the pages in half, hole punched them and put them in a cute little binder you can pick up just about anywhere.

If you use the template, let me know! Leave a comment or DM me on Instagram. I would love to hear your experiences with journaling.

SMM 012: Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom Challenge

Show Recap

In episode 12 I’m sharing why I started the podcast and some of the lessons I have personally learned since becoming a podcaster. Spoiler alert: the best part of podcasting for me has been all of the amazing moms like you whom I have met and connected with.

In the episode I talk about a common topic that keeps coming up for me in social media interactions and in real life conversations I have had since I started Spiritually Minded Mom. The topic is that many moms don’t feel like they know how God speaks to them and don’t really feel him on a regular basis.

I haven’t been able to get these conversations out of my head and I have felt prompted to do something more than the podcast to reach my main goal of helping moms feel hope, joy and God’s hand in motherhood. So, I’ve created a challenge for you called Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom.

The Challenge

Here’s how the challenge will work. Right now you can sign up to be a part of the challenge by going HERE.   If you sign up, I will email you a workbook over the weekend. The challenge will start this Monday, June 18th and will go every day until Friday, June 22nd. In the workbook, you will find pages for each day with things to ponder and action to take. Each day will focus on a different way you can be a more spiritually minded mom.

Each day I will also be going on Instagram stories on the Spiritually Minded Mom Instagram account to talk about the challenge. There will be a post as well where you can share what you are learning and connect with others who are doing the challenge.

What if you are seeing this after the challenge is over but you still want to do it? No problem. The workbook will still be available HERE on the website and I will save the video stories on Instagram. 

The challenge is not a checklist or a formula or a one size fits all approach to developing a relationship with God. The challenge is meant to help you learn more about how God speaks to YOU uniquely as an individual. I also hope the challenge will help you to see God’s hand in your life in places you may not have recognized before.

To get access to the workbook, you can go HERE to enter your email address. I will email you the workbook to download shortly before the challenge starts. The download will also be available after the challenge so you can click and request it anytime. Feel free to follow along on Instagram or just do it on your own.

I hope the challenge helps you see and feel more fully God as your partner in motherhood.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Get access to the Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom workbook by clicking HERE.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 011: Being Enough + How Motherhood Helps You Understand God’s Love || Lisa Andersen

 God’s Love

“I like to think of motherhood as a chance for me to understand a little more about how God feels about me.  …So when I think about the way that I love my children, and then I pull it back to think, ‘That’s how God loves me,’ and I just think, ‘Wow!’ What a privilege,’ number 1 to have a father who loves me this much and second, that He gave me the opportunity to feel this kind of love. It’s amazing and it’s something that I am grateful for every single day.” –Lisa Anderson

Show Recap

In this episode, I interview Lisa Anderson, a wife and mom to four who loves encouraging other mothers on Instagram.

We discuss what “positive parenting” looks like for her, and especially, how she has made her home an environment that encourages good choices, building relationships, and giving mutual respect. We also talk about the experiences Lisa’s family has had with moving and helping children overcome challenges.

Lisa gives great insight into her own struggles with contentment in motherhood and feeling motherhood wasn’t “enough” for her.  Lisa shares about a simple list that helped her develop herself and also feel fulfilled in different seasons of motherhood.

Since Lisa uses her Instagram account, @thrivingmotherhood, to connect with, help and encourage other moms, I was excited to dive into how moms can use social media for good and to receive help in motherhood. Lisa gives an easy way you can know if you should keep following someone on social media.  

We talk about the “mental game” and how thoughts dictate everything in motherhood. Lisa shares some great resources if you’re stuck in negative thought patterns.

My favorite part of interviewing Lisa was when she said, “I’ve been entrusted by God to help them become the humans they’re supposed to become and it’s amazing.”  Lisa has an optimistic spirit that will lift you and help you want to be a better mother. 

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Lisa:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thrivingmotherhood

Learn more about Jody Moore

We talked quite a bit about Jody Moore and the principles she teaches. The model we mentioned is CTFAR: circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, results. To find out more about what Jody, listen to her podcast, Better Than Happy, follow her on Instagram at @jodymoorecoaching or visit her website.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes