a carrot fight, joyful mothering, + a january update

little Bella, 5. She's such a happy little girl, and a great blessing to us.

Happy Tuesday, sweet friends! Isn't it a wonderful day to be alive? What is God's purpose for your life today? Do you have a prayer you woke up with this morning? 

Mine is to be a joyful mother.

I woke up with that same prayer yesterday, and sadly, it wasn't my best day of being joyful. It was like Satan knew my intentions, and tried everything to get me upset. Like when I found out the kids had a carrot war {organic, baby carrot!!! war} in the living room yesterday. {um, #1, food's not allowed in the living room, #2 those things aren't cheap and now they're wasted, #3, they threw them at each other....oh brother.} Not a happy mama. I'll laugh someday, I know, but yesterday sure wasn't the day. :P 

Maybe joyful is as joyful does?

Never mind that- Jesus, please help me! I'm outnumbered 4 to 1! Y'all, please pray for me. :P

After yesterday, I'm really thankful I'm getting a little break this morning while they're at school. :) I'll hopefully be working on the rest of this month's goals, and catching up on laundry again, along with maybe lunch with the husband! wohoo! :) I'd also really like to be more happy and less distracted tomorrow when I pick them up from school. I so want them to remember me as a happy mama.

Speaking of goals, here's an update on this month:

  1. 40 bags- I'm challenging myself to find 40 bags of excess to purge from our house. - 32 BIG bags done, 8 more to go!!
  2. Take down 10 picture frames that aren't hanging on the wall. - done! I love the empty shelves and surfaces. I put them all in a box in case I change my mind later. ;)
  3. Rearrange living room and sewing room furniture to better use our spaces. - haven't done this yet. Hoping to this week.
  4. Take down Christmas decorations. {It's only January 4, right? ;)}- done, thanks to the family! 
  5. Donate extra bedding we no longer need. - still haven't gone in the attic. dum, dum, dum....
    a physical detox:

  1. Eat real foods- avoiding all processed foods if possible. I've been doing this for the last week, and it's not been fun so far. But I feel better already! - semi-good at this. I've been snacking on Frosted Mini Wheats and grabbing bites of cheese. Hum. And I've had a couple turkey sandwiches and bread. And a handful or two of skittles. hahah! Trying not to obsess about it, but I am happy to be eating more veggies again. ;)
  2.  Exercise at least 8 hours per week. {I'm using this free fitness log! hey!} - done plus some!
  3.  Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. - most days!
    a spiritual detox:

  1. Journal 1-2x per week in quiet time using Evernote. {I will easily type it out but I know I'll never do it if I'm supposed to hand write it. Typing is so much faster. ha!} - started this! 
  2.  Wake up before kids and read alone in quiet at least 5 days per week {this has been so hard to do this winter}. Check off each day completed in my calendar for motivation. - failing miserably. They keep getting up before me. I've gotten maybe 2-3 days a week before they get up. This might help the joyful mama thing.
  1. Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel*- done. I really, really liked this book. The author is a no-nonsense kind of guy, and tells you things you know are true but no one says. :) I was surprised by how much I liked it!

  1. Psalm 51:7-13: Getting close! :D
My "be" goal this month was to be repentant. 

And oh, how I've seen God working on repentance in my heart this month. I wish I could say I am amazing at spotting my own sin right away, but I'm so not. Sin rises in me quickly, and I can justify it for a while in the heat, until I get alone and God convicts me. :(

But I'm glad He is convicting me, because that means He wants to discipline me and not leave me in my sin. I wish it wasn't there in the first place, but really, it shows me I need Him all the more. It makes me feel like I'm a big hypocrite, because I know the truth and still can't seem to get it right. But then God gives me such grace, and reminds me His love doesn't depend on how well I am doing. {thank you, Jesus!}. It's been rough, but God has been good. 

He convicts me time after time, and my heart turns and seeks forgiveness and restoration with Him. And He is always so good to forgive me. I'm just constantly amazed by this.

:: What are you tackling today?

:: Are you detoxing this month too? If so, how are you doing so far? {probably better than skittle binging, I would imagine! hehee ;)}

:: What helps you stay joyful with your children? 
me: remembering how little time I have with them gives me more perspective, and more joy.


Amanda@EmbracingGrace said...

Love the post today:) :) I think I will start posting my goals on my blog to help keep me accountable! :) an I loved your FB mom quote today

prayernotesbycynthia said...

I remember those days! My boys were a mess and still are... LOL! I also love the exercise log. I think I will use it. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

This post came at the perfect time! I have took on leading a bible study and it's been a huge blessing. But, yesterday Satan began battling me and I have been miserable ever since. I feel like my family is constantly working against me with the whole house cleaning thing. I know it's just me allowing myself to be overwhelmed with everything. I like you just want for my kids to remember me as lighthearted and joyful:)

Mandy said...

oh yay! You know posting them here does a wonder for me! I feel much more accountable to sticking to them! :D Thank you for your sweet words!!

Mandy said...

Wohoo! Let me know how it goes! {and it's good to hear you made it out of these days! hehee!}

Mandy said...

Oh, I can't tell you how often that happens to me- Satan HATES it when we do something for Jesus, and he makes sure it's as hard as it can be, and as miserable too. I'll be praying for you!! :D The Lord will help you, I know it! :)

Amber Lee said...

This is really cool! I have yet to read Soul Detox but it is on my list to read! Glad to know it's worth reading!

Marla Dunn said...

I just have to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog. I've only been reading it for a few months and am at a very different place in life - my kids are 18 and 15! Sometimes I just don't connect with bloggers with young children but you are so much fun that I look forward to what you have to say each day. I love, love, love your sweet, humble spirit and your honesty. It is so refreshing. May God continually bless you and yours!

Catherine M said...

I read this post last night and this morning my girls (4 and 2) decided to have a tea party with the organic carrots and strawberries I splurged on this week. But, they weren't just eating...they were putting them in cups of water and my 2 yo was taking bites and spitting them out on the floors that I mopped the other day (for the first time in who knows how long!). Oh, it is good to know we are travelling along motherhood together- sharing in the joys and the frustrations. You are an encouragement to me, Mandy! Thanks for keeping your blog so real and always pointing to Jesus! :)

Fawn Weaver said...

Wow, you've motivated me to get some things done. 40 bags for purging?? That's impressive. And I love that your way of clean eating without processed foods looks a little like mine :). But I am happy to be getting more fruits & veggies in my diet too. And I gave up dairy... Just found out -after having to go to a dermatologist for the first time in 36 years- that I'm allergic to dairy and it was causing me to break out like a teenager entering puberty (not fun).

Mandy said...

Oh, thank you Marla!! Your sweet words are truly an encouragement to me! I'm so thankful for you- God used you to bless me today!! May God bless you and yours too! :)

Mandy said...

Oh, cool! Let me know what you think! I love Dave Ramsey, and this guy reminded me of him. :D Hope you enjoy it!

Mandy said...

Oh my goodness, how funny!! I SO know where you're coming from! Somehow you know it's really funny, but it's so not at the same time. hehehe! I love that we get to journey through this together! What a challenge, but what reward I think we'll get from it! {someday soon we'll see it!! ;)} You are an encouragement to me, too!! :D Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone! Especially when it comes to baby carrots! :P

Nessa @ Isle Style Living said...

New follower from Pinterest, here!

Love this. I'm working being a more gracious and joyful mom to my little one.

Also- I especially connected with this: "It makes me feel like I'm a big hypocrite, because I know the truth and still can't seem to get it right. But then God gives me such grace, and reminds me His love doesn't depend on how well I am doing. {thank you, Jesus!}."

You hit the nail on the head for my life right now!

Mandy said...

Oh, wow! Do you feel better now that you've left it behind? What surprising news! And truly, the 40 bags was motivated by complete desperation after the Christmas influx! :P It felt so good, even when I only had 1 bag gone! I joke we aren't going to have anything left in the house, and I kind of like it that way! hehee :D

Mandy said...

HI Nessa!! I'm so glad to meet you here!! :D I'm so with you- it's so awesome that it isn't about us, isn't it? What a relief, because I know I would never get there. It makes grace so much sweeter, doesn't it? much love to you, new friend! :D It's good to be on this life journey with another sister who needs Jesus! :D

jolene's spot said...

Hey there! I love your blog, it is so encouraging and uplifting. Thanks so much for that:) I thought you homeschooled? No?

Mandy said...

Hey friend!! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement- they are such a blessing to me! :D We do homeschool, but only two days a week, Mondays and Fridays this year. We decided to put them in a little co-op Christian school for the other three days. I shared a bit more about it here: http://biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-changing-of-seasons-on-letting-go.html

Have a wonderful rest of your week! :D

kelli@eatprayreadlove. said...

I so want to be a joyful mama. It. is. hard. It seems like there's always commotion in the house (bet you can identify!) and I eventually lose my cool. My goal was to not yell for 30 days, but I had to start over yesterday. :(

Mandy said...

I know, me too!! I am terrible- so many needs and cries... I can definitely identify! :) I think you are doing an awesome job though- what a great challenge!! I think I'd probably have to start over within a day or two! You go mama!! :D way to have a heart for loving your kiddos!! p.s. I'm sad I missed meeting with y'all at Chuy's! It looked like fun!!:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Mandy! I will be praying for you as well ;-)