December 2015 - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
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Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Type-B New Year Plan!

Happy New Year!!! Well, almost. It’s almost happy new year. It’s a little after 9pm EST right now, but you know, SO CLOSE.

Also, I’m sick. Nasty cold. But that nasty cold has kept me in bed pondering and planning, looking back at 2015 and onto 2016. And you know what I made for you? I made a little planner I call, The Type-B New Year Plan. Oh yes, it’s relaxed new year planning for the chill among us. You know who you are. You want to plan and ponder and be intentional, but sometimes the planning is too detailed and you never actually get around to it…yea. I know. The Type-B New Year Plan is simple, thoughtful, and intentional. It’s also something you’ll want to keep through the years, as it was created to be something of a memorial stone for you to look back on.

newyearplan

10 pages of simple, thoughtful, intentional planning goodness!

I’m actually quite tickled by it. And it’s free. To get it, just enter your email below and BOOM, it’s yours.

And just for fun, here are my…

Top 6 Posts from This Year:

I have bad thoughts about my husband (and not the dirty kind) <—— #1 post of 2015

Choosing to wake up to my own life

What I know about cheating and consequences 

A steady soul

One of the secrets to nurturing a strong mind in your child

I think I’m not so scary, but maybe I am

Here’s to a wonderful new year!

Love, Sarah Mae

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Sibling Conflict is Par for the Course (Here’s Some Help in Dealing with It)

The day almost always starts out so promising.

I make my coffee, start slow, the kids get up and play together for awhile, and I get some time in the Word. I love our mornings. But then, almost without fail, I hear the first harsh tone. And then a yell. And then I can almost feel the hearts being hardened.

I’m trying to concentrate on reading my Bible, but before I know it I shout, “Why don’t you all just beat each other up and get it over with!”

Yea, not exactly a holy response. I cringe after I say it because I know it’s just a sinful impulse and I let it fly. My son says, “We don’t want to beat each other up.” And I say, “Well your hearts do.”

Oh man, I’m blowing it. {Deep breath.}

“Lord help me.”

I go into my oldest daughter’s room and sit on the floor and begin to rub her feet. I ask her how she is feeling. She talks, I listen. I call in her brother. She tells him how she feels, he listens pretty well. He tells her how he feels. She listens pretty well. We talk, we work things through, we say we’re sorry, we forgive.Hearts are tender. They hug and move onto playing again.

This is the hard holy work that happens every day. This conflict? Par for the course. My sinful response? A constant reminder that I am in process right along with my children. We are all in process, and our hearts can only be molded and matured by Him. I can’t fix their hearts. I can’t fix my own.

But forgiveness. And grace. And new days with new mercies. This is how we get through.

Here are some things I’m learning that might be helpful to some of you out there.

Have Coffee, Take a Deep Breathe, Invite the Holy Spirit In

When I begin to feel the tension of the morning, or I feel myself getting angry, I think, “Get the coffee stat!” And then I sit, breathe, and pray. “Holy Spirit come. Be with me, with our family. Help us.”

I also tell my children to never let me begin homeschooling them until I’ve had my coffee. Seriously. They know.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it, go somewhere and breathe. If you haven’t had your coffee or your tea, get it. And pray. If you’re kids try and interrupt this time, tell them, “I’m getting my heart in order. I’ll let you know when I’m good.” If they’re younger and wouldn’t understand that, go into the bathroom. Or your closet. Or hold them close and breathe and pray. But do stop. It’s in the getting still and quiet – a quietness of soul – that you will be able to gain composure in order to keep on.

Ask Forgiveness, Give It

I’m pretty certain I ask my children to forgive me every single day. Because every single day I blow it. I remember Sally telling a story where she says she woke up one day and told her daughter Joy that she would not sin that day and Joy said, “Oh just give it up mama, it’s bound to happen!” Because WE ALL SIN. We all blow it. We all are desperately in need of Jesus.

When you lose your cool, or tell your children to beat each other up, or sigh loudly when they can’t do something, or whatever, go to them and humbly ask for forgiveness. They’ll give it. Kids are pure grace.

And when they blow it, which they will, forgive them wholeheartedly. Look in their eyes and say, “I forgive you, and I always will.”

Without the tenderness of forgiveness, hearts become hard and bitterness grows. Pay attention to the heart, yours and theirs. Work towards tenderness.

Don’t Ignore It

It is so tempting to ignore the conflict because you’re just SO SICK OF IT. I know. Lord knows. We all know. But ask the Lord for the strength to keep on dealing with it. Be in the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Talk to your local girlfriends about how they deal with sibling conflict; talk to older women. Listen for wisdom and truth and grace.

“Indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom…”

Proverbs 2:3-6

Talk issues through with your kiddos. Work it out. Listen. Don’t let it go.

Letting sibling conflict go will likely cause bitterness to grow, especially when one child has take offense to the heart.

Don’t just try to mask the conflict with good behavior or right words, but really dig into the roots. Ask the Lord for help in seeing the truth of what’s going on. Yea, sometimes you just have to say, “Work it out.” But there is a time for intervening, especially when you see hardness. I tell my children, “God gave us to each other, and relationships are hard, but they’re worth working on.”

Keep working on relationships, in love. This is great practice for their marriages!

Pray for Their Hearts

You can never fix your kids sin issues.

You can guide, teach, correct, love, forgive, and prepare the “soil” for them to believe and receive the gospel, but you can’t fix their hearts. You must pray. Pray that your children will stay tender, that the love of God would fill them so deeply and profoundly that they would follow Him forever. Pray that they would submit to the power of the Holy Spirit, because only that power can change a person; only that power can fix a heart.

Know You’re In For the Long Haul

Raising children is a good work that takes YEARS of loving, training, correcting, forgiving, over and over and over and over and over again. The prayer is that one day it will all click and your hard-fought efforts will have sunk in deep to you children’s souls.

And listen here, because this is important: even your breadcrumb efforts can make a difference if they’re all you’ve got. Some of you out there are reading this and thinking, “I’m trying but I feel so inadequate. I feel like I’m failing all the time.” Motherhood is hard, and we all blow it. But here’s what the Lord does when we ask, He multiply’s our small offerings, our fishes and loaves. We do the work the best we can with who we are and where we are, and then we pray for God to multiply our efforts. Don’t let your tiredness, your bad days, your weaknesses or the constant conflict discourage you. It’s all part of the gig. Submit it all to Him, do your best, one step at a time, and keep going.

Yes, you’re in this for the long haul, but this good work of mothering was prepared in advance by God for you to do. And He will not leave you alone in the doing.

sibling hug

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

With love, SM

Need a space to catch your breathe? Check out A Night to Breathe, happening in January!

Related: Why I’ve Stopped Trying to Tame My Kids Tongues

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A Night to Breathe Take 2!

*UPDATE* THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH DUE TO THE SNOW!

The new date is March 19th!

Get your ticket HERE!

I am so tickled to be able to tell you that…

WE ARE DOING A NIGHT TO BREATHE AGAIN!!!!!

Oh, I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this. And it took a looooooooooong time to make the decision about whether or not to do it again, but you know, we moms all need encouragement and Amy and I both believe that A Night to Breathe is a lovely, special, wonderful way to encourage and build up “the motherhood.”

Also, we (Amy and I) know that you are so excited about Christmas and the spirit of this wonderful, cozy season, and who needs to breathe when we’re all happy and cozy?! We get it! But you know how it is, after New Year’s, the days get long and dreary and we ache for rest and rejuvenation in those long winter months. That’s why we decided that we are going to host A Night to Breathe in January. Read on for all the details!

All the Details

Who (is this event for): This event is mainly for moms of little ones WHO NEED TO BREATHE. You know who you are. Of course, anyone woman can come, but the evening is geared towards the moms who really do need a break. And cake. And inspiration to keep on.

When: Saturday, January 23, 2016, March 19th, 7pm (registration begins at 6:15pm)

BUT we HIGHLY recommend you STAY THE NIGHT. We know that after the talks and the cake and the bread (yes, and because of course) what you really need is a night away in clean sheets that you don’t have to wash. Also, you can sleep in, and then you can eat as slow as you want, and THEN, you can pray and have brain space and do the mini-bible study we will give you. TAKE THE TIME. We got you a room rate of only $99, and the rooms are beautiful. Get a room for yourself, just yourself, and BREATHE. Go here to book your room (you have until February 10th to get that room rate) and use code: NIGHT

Where: The event is held at the beautiful Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA

Speakers: Myself and the dear, wonderful, wise, Amy Smoker

Cost: The tickets are $49. There are 100 spots available. Tickets include access to the talks, dessert, coffee/tea, a mini-bible study, and a gift. To get your ticket, go HERE. All desserts are provided by Yellowroses Bakery. YUM!

Eventbrite - A Night to Breathe
A word from Amy:

When we planned A Night to Breathe last year, Sarah and I originally wanted the event to be in January. Because our hearts can ache for rest in the wake of celebrating. Sometimes I need renewed vigor for this motherhood mission, especially as I settle into winter. As a mama, I long for some quiet; I long for a solid night’s sleep, I long for uninterrupted reading and a complete conversation. Ultimately, I desire space and time for my soul to rest.

 
Our hope is that this event would provide space for us to gather in His name to be refreshed and restored in God and with one another. True soul resting is only found in The Lord (Psalm 62:1), even still, He has designed us to need each other. As a bird finds the needed endurance for her journey in the upwash of her flock; likewise, we need a coming together. This is the heart behind A Night to Breathe.
 
We all need a bit of relief in the journey of motherhood. Let us carve out a night in our hard winter to take rest, to breathe in the fresh wind He offers within the flock. As we come and gather, we find the courage needed for enduring- for thriving in the endurance.
 
Sarah and I are super excited and counting down the days, because just like every other mom in January- we need a night like this.

We can’t wait to see you and hug you and KEEP ON TOGETHER!
Love, SM and Amy

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