Tag Archives: Christian parenting

Can Mommies Have fun Too?? – Part Two

15 Jun

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If you missed the first post here about whether or not Mommies can have fun, (or if we should just resign ourselves to a stressed out and chaotic life b/c we have kids,) read here!  : )  Basically, I talked about how since having kids, through trial and error, I’ve finally struck a nice balance between devoted mommy as well as an individual who has fun, friends, travels, romance, and her own life.  It didn’t come easily though – for the first few years of my kids life, I was super busy.  I worked from home for the most part so I was still with them a lot, but I do feel as though the quality aspect of the time spent with them could have been better and more focused.  For example, if I’m loading the dishwasher while watching youtube videos, my kids may be in the room, but I don’t really consider it spending quality time with them.  Now, I try to spend quality time with my kids doing fun things or just hanging out, while also allowing myself on the other hand to have free time apart from them, time with friends, and time with my sweetie to rejuvenate.

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So in this post, I really wanted to share a few ways that I make sure to have fun as an individual/mom/friend/wife/working-woman while still being an involved, hands on and devoted parent who is invested in my children.  Some tips are basic, some are funny, and some are more serious, but they have all worked for me.  So here they are:

1. Check out minimalism – my favorite sites on this are The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, and Courtney Carver’s site.  About a year ago, I got rid of everything that I didn’t use or love – that included all clothes I hadn’t worn in a year or didn’t love, house figurines and decorations that needed dusting, all toys that didn’t fit into the few toy boxes that my kids have, and even plates, and silverware – everything literally was on the chopping block to be given away. I literally took like 20 – 30 bags to the Salvation Army, (which also serves as a tax break.)  🙂  I wanted clear counters and uncluttered walls – I wanted to be able to think straight without having a bunch of junk laying around that was stealing my peace and taking up my time to keep up.  The less stuff you have, the less you have to clean and upkeep.  The less dishes you have, the less you have to wash them.  The less clothes you have, the less laundry you have to do.  (I also got rid of most of my kids clothes too except for maybe six of each type of clothes – shorts, jeans, pants, dresses, short sleeves, and long sleeves.)  Basically, if you complain about having to clean it, upkeep it, etc., then get rid of it – problem solved.  : )

(I sold or donated these toys that my children had outgrown – this was probably less than one percent of what I got rid of.)

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2.  Turn the TV off.  I stopped watching TV a while back, and while every now and then I turn it on, for the most part, I never watch it, (except for when friends come over and I have it on then.)  Since I made a choice to stop watching TV two years ago, I started three businesses, decluttered my house, increased my income, have had more time for family and friends, have done lots of interesting and fun outings that I wouldn’t have done if I’d been sitting on the couch, and have been more satisfied overall because I’m not comparing my home to HGTV homes and my life to rich reality TV women.  🙂  Dont’ get me wrong – I LOVE youtube documentaries and shows that actually teach me something like CNBC business shows, and I’ll watch them sometimes after the kids to go sleep for fun.  But apart from that, my TV stays off.  I challenge you to turn the TV off for a month and see how much your life changes for the better, and how much more time you have to devote to friends and family.

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3. If you have young kids, keep all toys in organized boxes and bins.  I say this not because I want my home to look like Pinterest, (I could honestly care less about home decorations and have no decorating skills whatsoever, lol,) but because by limiting the amount of toys my kids have, it eliminates clutter and allows me to think straight.  Also, because everything has its own box, ex: lego box, puppet box, crayon bag, dress up bin, they know how to clean up even from around age three.  I say “clean up,” and I have trained them to put everything back in the proper place, so they can do it themselves.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not a dictator, sometimes I help them clean. 🙂  But the important thing is that they can do it without my help if I’m tired or simply don’t feel like helping on any given day!lol…

4. Nap time or room time.  My kids have to sleep or play quietly for three hours each day.  When friends ask me how I “get my kids to nap,” I simply smile and reply, “it’s not a choice.”  🙂  My kids have to stay in their rooms for three hours and play quietly or nap.

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During that time, I catch up on my 60-150 online college students emails/questions/grading; I blog, answer and write emails, update my facebook/instagram, make my to-do list, get some cleaning done, organize, relax and eat lunch, watch interesting youtube videos, or take a nap myself if its the weekend.  (I don’t do all of these at once; I choose which I want to do.)  🙂

5. Always allow yourself to do things “tomorrow” instead of “yesterday.”  Sometimes I’ll hear the generalization that here on the East Coast, we tend to rush and feel guilty that we should have done things “yesterday,” whereas on the West Coast they relax and do it tomorrow, and don’t feel the least bit guilty.  I’m not sure if that’s true since I’ve never been to the West Coast, but it really brings up an idea that changed my life.  I used to push through to get all ten things done on my to do list in one day, even if it meant having no lunch break, staying up till midnight, forgoing a nap, and ending up stressed.  Recently, I’ve learned that if it doesn’t have to be done, it’s OK to push it back till tomorrow, (or the next day or the next day,) and be totally happy with that decision.  🙂  So long as it’s not something that turns into procrastination or never getting around to, I’ll allow myself a few days of grace.

6. Schedule lots of me time.  I find pockets during the day and week to have free and fun time.  I find teenage homeschool girls who work in the church nursery, Sunday school teacher friends, certified teacher friends who have free nights and weekends, or other mommy friends that I know and trust to babysit the kids, and get them to babysit.  Or, I’ll swap sitting with friends for free, or have one of my babysitters watch my kids in exchange for food or home-made beauty products.  (Come on mamas – we have to get creative!!)  🙂  I always keep a running list four to ten sitters that I know and trust at all times, so anytime that I need a break, I can make sure that my children are well taken care of while I go to the bookstore and read over coffee, get lunch with friends, spend the day with my sweetie, take a long nap, or take the weekend off to visit a college friend.  I personally believe that time alone or away with friends or my spouse energizes, renews, and makes me a better mom.  I’m not sure where moms got the idea that devoting every second to our kids, never doing anything for ourselves, and being a “mommy martyr” to our own demise somehow makes us better moms.

In my own life, it’s been the opposite.  Taking time away to refresh has allowed me to come back rejuvenated and ready to be a better and more involved mom and wife.  I’ll also try and schedule a beauty treatment every two weeks – even if its just a $5 polish change at the nail salon or a warm bath at 9 p.m. after the kids are in bed, treat yourself.  If mom is tired, stressed, stretched thin, and lethargic, it will eventually take a toll.  Moms – we deserve fun time, to be well rested, and to look good!  Do some Zumba at night to stay in shape, paint your nails, send your kids to bed early so Mommy and Daddy can have a romantic night alone – do whatever it takes to invest in yourself.  🙂

I’ll stop for now, and maybe I’ll even do a Part Three!  (After six points, I think people get tired and want to be done reading, so this seems like a good place to stop.)  🙂  I’ll end by saying that my kids mean everything to me – this is why I believe that it’s important for me to develop myself as a whole person instead of dedicating my entire existence to them.  And please don’t get me wrong – I spend lots of time with my children taking them to lessons, reading to them, taking them on trips, to classes, museums, activities, etc, but I also believe that I’m happier when I too likewise have alone time, or time with my sweetie and friends.  I want my daughter to know that when she’s married with kids, she should also take time for herself.  I want both of my kids to know that Mommy and Daddy deserve alone time and fun, (just like they get to have fun, take classes, see their preschool friends, take trips, etc.)  I want my kiddos to know that it’s important for everyone in the family to be well-rested and fulfilled, not just the children.  I want them to think of the well-being of others, and not just their own – I started teaching my kiddos empathy and to think about their situation as compared to those people who have less than them since they were pretty much babies.  Anytime they seem to take on a tone that the world revolves around them, I remind them of children who don’t have toys, who don’t have food, whose parents abuse them, who are child slaves, or who  have to work instead of go to preschool and swim lessons.  I want them to be conscious even from toddlers that everyone in the family matters and should be fulfilled.  Some may wonder if kids can even understand those concepts, but I believe they can – my own kids often remind me to be kinder with my words so that I don’t hurt those around me.  Kids are only limited in understanding if we allow them to be.  🙂  Also, if you are still reading even after all my ramblings, lol, one book that resonated with me when it comes to parenting is the somewhat controversial (at least among American mommy circles) book called “Bringing up Bebe” – while I don’t agree with all the parts, (namely some of the sections on early childhood education,) I found upon reading the book that I have the almost exact same parenting style as the author, and am likewise a (for the most part)  🙂  happy, calm, and relaxed mom like she found herself becoming.

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All that to say that Mommies can have fun.  It is totally, 100 % possible.  It may just involve a mindset shift, careful planning, and implementing a few more things into your life that you weren’t previously doing.  How about you?  How will you be a great mom while still having fun and growing as an individual?  🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

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Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, Blogger, certified Life Coach, Professor, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of Lauren’s Lathers, an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She is excited to soon be starting her Master Esthetics Program to eventually open a spa for women that will offer a variety of Spa Treatments for the whole woman – (Microderm, facials, waxing, makeup, massage, spray tans, etc.) along with Life Coaching.  She loves Zumba, Pilates, soaking worship, dreaming and manifesting, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission  is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon, and she will soon be re-launching her Coaching Business, specializing in Business Start up Coaching and Parenting Coaching, so keep an eye out!  : )

Have you Forgotten to Have Fun?

24 May

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Lately, I’ve had a few friends come to me and ask me how to balance their time better.  They want to be good parents, have time for themselves, and have fun, but they feel like currently, they’re just going through the motions.

What really helped me was something that I read at one of my favorite blogs called “Simple Homeschool.”  Basically, the author that said that she only does what is “hers,” and nothing else.  So I decided to do the same.  I made a list of everything that was mine: my Lauren’s Lathers business, running my preschool, my husband and family, writing, and teaching online.

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That was my list.  Everything else that came my way, I had to say “no” to in order to keep my sanity.  🙂  This also frees up lots of extra time for spontaneous outings with friends, mini stay-cations or vacations, and more time to do things in the community or with my family.

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Just the other week, my mom also asked how I did it all.  I told her the same thing – “I don’t.”  If it’s not on my list, I don’t do it.

Ever since I’ve cleared out my schedule more, there’s lots more time for laughing and fun.  I’ll end up having a free afternoon or evening to go on a date night with my sweetie, to go out for ice cream with the family, or to spend the day with an old friend.

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Just because we become adults doesn’t mean that the fun should end!  🙂  I always try to schedule at least two things a week that make me smile, or that I look forward to.  Don’t just live your life going through the motions – ex: eat, work, make dinner, clean the house, put the kids to bed, and pass out in bed yourself…

Figure out a way to live a life that allows you to explore your passions and be happy.  You only have one life to live, and God wants us to enjoy our lives – He created the world so that we could enjoy it!  : )  Today, figure out a way to bring some joy and fun back into your life.

Blessings,

Lauren

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Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of Lauren’s Lathers, an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She loves Zumba, Pilates, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon!

What I’ve Been up To…

16 May

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I just realized that I hadn’t blogged in four months, so I wanted to check in about what I’ve been up to.  🙂

This morning someone picked up a Lauren’s Lathers gift for a speaking engagement – I hope that the speaker enjoys their Lavender Shea Butter.

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Then the kiddos and I headed to swim lessons, and they did really well.  They are both now swimming the length of the pool with a noodle wrapped around them – I am so proud of them!

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Then we came home, went to the park, and walked a mile around the neighborhood in the stroller.  Today was the neighborhood yard sale, so it was nice to see everyone outside and chatting, and to get to say “hi” to some of the neighbors.  We got to catch up with our next door neighbor and her grandchildren.

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I also am glad that it’s hot outside now, so I am trying to convince my husband to open the pool a week early!lol..

So what’s new with me?  The preschool has grown and we are now switching to full time only in the fall – that is so exciting since we just opened a year ago.  🙂  The Lauren’s Lathers organic beauty business is growing too, and I’ll be doing lots of vendor shows this summer.  We’ll also be taking a few vacations this summer too, which I’m super excited about.

That’s it – I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Blessings,

Lauren

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Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of Lauren’s Lathers, an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She loves Zumba, Pilates, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon!

Today’s my B-day! What I learned this year…

27 Dec

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Today is my 30th birthday, so I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned this year! 🙂

1. Make time to enjoy family!  Throughout my 20’s, I was super busy and always trying to achieve.  And while that was kind of a good thing b/c I did accomplish a lot, I am making a point now to slow down and enjoy my time and my family more. 🙂  On your death bed, you’ll never say, “I wish I’d spend more time at the office.”

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2. Exercise is important!  I love Zumba, but hadn’t had a lot of time this year with starting my businesses, so I didn’t do it as much, or go to the gym.  I was recently re-motivated by a good friend who wakes up at 5 a.m., swims for 45 minutes, goes to work full time, and then volunteers in her spare time, (and still has time for fun.)  Now, I’ll be waking up earlier to to devotionals and 20 minutes of Zumba before my preschool babies arrive at 7:15 a.m.  🙂

3. Not everyone will like you.  No matter how nice, friendly, or kind you are, some people won’t like you.  And while I always knew this, (and honestly didn’t care,) lol, I would sometimes still wonder why.  But now, I still don’t care, and I am done wondering why.  🙂  All I can do is keep moving forward, and those who don’t like me or resent me for whatever reason can do so without a thought of mine!  🙂

4. Schedule days where you do nothing.  This is so important.  If you don’t have quiet time to think, you may not realize the things you’re doing wrong, or could be doing better.  You won’t realize that your life is going off track, or that you’ve become stagnant in achieving your goals.  Alone time helps you to be honest with yourself.

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5. Live by a budget.  I always knew about Dave Ramsey, but had never tried the cash/envelope system.  Recently I lost my debit card, and was forced to use cash for everything.   It really is true that when you use cash, you can physically see how quickly it is slipping through your hands, versus a painless swipe.  (I am not knocking credit cards; I just realize that implementing the envelope system for me is going to be super helpful!  🙂

That’s it…off to take a nap and then go celebrate my birthday this evening.  How about you?  What did you learn this year?  I’d love to hear!  🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

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Lauren is a wife, mother, Jesus-lover, the owner of a Spanish Immersion Christian preschool, and the owner of an organic beauty company, (making her own home-made Soaps, Scrubs, Shea Butters, and more!)  She loves Zumba, Pilates, the beach, chocolate, berry smoothies, travel, and spending time with her friends, family and children.  Her life’s mission is to be happy, to help others, and to spread God’s love, as well as to be an Author, Motivational speaker, Consultant and Coach – her first book will be available soon!

Dear Mama of Babies…

25 Mar

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Here is a picture of me when my “babies” looked more like babies.  🙂

Although my “babies” are now 2.5 and four, I can still remember those sleepless nights, and lately I’ve had so many moms ask me if it “gets any easier,” (almost as if they’re asking in hopes for reassurance.)  🙂  So this note is written with lots of love for mamas of babies, or maybe just for those who are curious!lol…  🙂

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Dear Mama of Babies,

When you became pregnant, you imagined your sweet cuddly baby, and how you would wrap your little one in all of those soft blankets, and hold them in your arms.

You still do all of those things, 🙂 but add to that spit up, poopy diapers, waking up every three hours at night to breastfeed or pump, and having someone who needs you 24/7.

And if you have older kids, it is even harder – you have older ones who want your attention, plus a little one who is crying, and you might not even know why.

Mommy, know that one day that baby will grow legs and start walking.  🙂  He will use the bathroom on his own, sleep through the night, and drink juice from a sippy cup.  Soon there will be no more bottles.  There will be lots more sleep.  There will be time in the morning to put on foundation, blush, eye shadow, and even eye liner too…but you will still probably wear a “mom ponytail” just b/c it’s easier.  🙂

And if you’re feeling bad b/c you once had a career and you wonder if you still have “a brain,” 🙂 realize that you only get to have a baby once.  Enjoy it!  You have the rest of your life to continue your career as Biochemist.  🙂  And while some Moms are Biochemists and also have babies, don’t feel bad b/c you’re not doing both – to each her own.

I was back to teaching online a day after my babies were born, and worked part time two mornings each week just two weeks later while my mom watched the babies, and it worked out great for me – but don’t feel bad if you’re not working, and don’t believe that lie that you’re not “productive” just b/c you don’t have a job outside of the home – God has a different plan for every woman, and motherhood is a high calling. 🙂

No more comparisons.  No more wishing this time away.  Yes; it is a tiring time, but one day your babies will be toddlers, and you’ll wonder where the time went.

Hang in there mama! 🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

 

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Lauren is a Christ loving mama of two who enjoys being a wife, a mother, a friend, and a Jesus follower! She enjoys ministering to women of all ages, and inspiring others to live out their purposes for the Lord. Her hobbies include blogging, speaking, making and selling all-natural soaps and beauty products, cooking healthy foods, and doing Zumba. Along with homeschooling her children by day, Lauren also does SAT/ACT, Writing, and Spanish tutoring by night, and enjoys working with students while sipping hot coffee at Starbucks. She also enjoys traveling, the beach, being a minimalist, laughing, spending time with friends, finding more ways to be more frugal, and having movie nights with her husband.

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or to “like” my page below.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like: :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLholmes79

Looking for all-natural Shea butter soaps?  Check out my Lauren’s Lather’s page here!

Is your child in need of SAT/ACT prep, or help in Spanish class?  Contact me today!

Looking for a Spanish Immersion Christian Preschool Program for your child?  I’d love it if they joined us! 🙂

 

Adventures in Homeschooling

29 Jan

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As some of you recently know, the kiddies and I just started homeschooling, and we absolutely love it!

Because the babies are so little, I am mostly doing learn through play, but we also have some basics that we do every day: letters, numbers, penmanship, Bible, reading, practical life activities, Spanish, and Montessori inspired lessons and stations.

OK – that was a little more than basics, 🙂 but for a former teacher, I can’t help it – I love learning and I love teaching my kids to love to learn too!

Here are a few pictures from today – keep in mind that it snowed last night, so that made homeschooling even more fun – we got to learn while cozied up under blankets, and the kiddies were excited, knowing that they would get to play in the snow once school was done! 🙂

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Here is a picture of Gabriel doing a lesson on patterns and colors with glass rocks.

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Here is a picture of Zoe playing with letters and numbers.

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Although I am not a “puzzle person,” lol, I am learning to enjoy it for the kids sake! 🙂

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We started early today, so we finished around 10 a.m. – enough time to watch some fun educational videos that reinforced our Spanish, (Dora!!,) 🙂 and Sesame Street videos that reinforced our numbers and letters.  We also did some singing and dancing with maracas that I brought back from missions trips to Mexico.  Also, Gabriel dressed up like a ninja, but he declined any photo ops!lol…

I’d say it’s been a fun day so far!

How about you?   Do you homeschool?  How do you teach your kiddies?

Blessings,

Lauren

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Lauren is a friend, wife, homeschooling mama of two, blogger, in-home babysitter, and freelance Spanish and SAT tutor who loves fruit smoothies, reading the word, teaching Spanish to her kiddies, (and other people’s too, for that matter!,) 🙂  doing Zumba, listening to soaking worship, and laughing and being silly with friends and family.

If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or to “like” my page below.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like: :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLholmes79

In need of Spanish Tutoring?  Visit my website here!

Is your child in need of SAT/ACT prep?  I’d love to help – jump on over to my website here!

Looking for a fun premarital/post-marital prep course?  Visit here!

In need of a speaker for an upcoming women’s conference?  I’d love to help – click here for more info!

Interested in advertising your business on this blog?  Contact me here!

When You Feel like you’re not good enough

15 Jan

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Here is a picture of my kids riding their bikes in the backyard – and yes, you can see the homemade safety patio gate made from lawn chairs, a toy roof, and the grill!lol…just trying to keep my babies safe! 🙂

Often, I wonder if I’m doing everything I can to be a good mom.  In whatever stage of life we’re in, career person, mother, father, student, or wherever we are, we often have a nagging sense that we could be doing more, or doing a better job.

As a mom, I read all of the mommy blogs, but lately, I’ve had to step back.  I have had to realize that God has equipped me to be the best mom that I can be.  Yes; I can read and study on how to do better, how to best educate my kids, what activities to do with them, and all of the parenting techniques that I can find in the  books, but nothing is better than just being a person who loves God and has His peace surrounding you.  🙂

That’s what my kids will really benefit from – a mama who is totally and 100% focused on loving and pleasing God – let’s face it…the peace, joy, and love that radiates from someone who has been in the presence of our Lord is just amazing, and everyone can feel it and enjoy it! 🙂

Whatever stage you’re in, set your eyes on things above.  Nothing else matters but God.  If you lose your house, you can still have God.  Material things come and go, but a loving relationship with your heavenly Father, and the peace that it brings, will stand the test of fire and time! 🙂

Blessings,

Lauren

Lauren is a friend, wife, homeschooling mama of two, blogger, and freelance Spanish tutor who loves fruit smoothies, reading the word, teaching Spanish to her kiddies, (and other people’s too, for that matter!,) 🙂 doing Zumba, listening to soaking worship, and laughing and being silly with friends and family.

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If you like this post, feel free to follow my blog or to “like” my page below.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loving-Life/378787838834868

And watch my videos here if you like: :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLholmes79

If you or your kids need private Spanish lessons, tutoring, homework help, or just want to practice speaking, click below!

http://www.successcoachingandtutoring.com/Spanish-for-Kids.html

http://www.successcoachingandtutoring.com/Spanish-Tutoring.html

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