Own Your Life

Even though it is April 1st, I would like to share with you my book recommendation for March: “Own Your Life” by Sally Clarkson.   The tag line is “Living with deep intention, bold faith and generous love.”

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This is a great book that I highly recommend!! In this book, Sally encourages us to own our lives. She defines it by saying, “Owning my life means taking responsibility for my own behavior, decisions, and attitudes so I may become all God created me to be and leave a legacy that points others to Him.” Wow- this is a powerful statement!   I am responsible for me, my choices, my attitudes as well as my reactions to others. It reminds me of my favorite saying, “My Response is My Responsibility.” Recently, I made a wall hanging of this quote in my house as a reminder.   As a parent, I probably repeat it to myself and my kids multiple times a day.

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Why is this so important to me? Well, if I am completely honest, the majority of my life, I have not lived like this. Instead of owning my life, my responses, my attitude, I would blame others when things did not go as expected or planned.  I would say whatever I was thinking and sometimes those words were not helpful and did not build anyone up. The good news is that I become self-aware of this problem and thankfully, God has helped me grow in this struggle.

So how does this all relate to Sally’s book? She is encouraging you to own a specific area of your life in each chapter of her book.

Here are some a few of the chapter titles:

Owning your Priorities and Commitments

Owning your True Identity

Owning your Life Vision

Owning God’s Training

Owning your Faith

Owning your Response to Others

Owning your Integrity

Owning your Emotional Health

Owning your Motherhood

Owning the Influence Your Life Can Make ….. again, these are just some of the chapters.

I loved all the chapters but today, I am going to focus on Owning your True Identity! She says, “Owning your life must begin with a healthy view of yourself that is based on what God thinks of you.” So, what does God think of you? Well let me share with you one of my favorite quotes from a book I just finished by Holley Gerth called “You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You are, Becoming All God Created You to Be.” Another great book I highly recommend.

Holley says, “You’re a daughter of God, a holy princess, a woman created with strengths you’ve yet to fully grasp and a story that’s still being written by the divine Author himself. And if you really take hold of who you are and what you’re called to do, there will be on stopping you. That’s because there’s no stopping Him in you- and He’s got bigger plans for your life than you’ve ever imagined.”

Wow- I love this quote because this is truly our identity in Christ! As a woman, we need to own this true identity!!! We are daughters of God with so much potential!!! However, many times, we do not own this identity but instead try to get our identity from others and their approval of us. Ladies, this is a huge trap that only leads to feeling disappointed and inadequate.   Trust me, I have been there.   I honestly believe that this is one of Satan’s main tactics for shutting down women for God’s purpose in their lives. He knows that we care what others think and he knows we want the approval of others. So how do we combat this?

I love what Sally says about it in her book. “I do not have the power to make everyone like me or approve of my values, looks, actions, or performance. But I am responsible for how I react to others’ criticism of me. If I allow their words to destroy my self-image, then I am allowing them to control me. As I have grown in my walk with God, I’ve thankfully realized that allowing others to control the way I think about myself is a dark, endless hole. I am committed to gradually growing and learning in every area of my life, but essentially I have accepted that I will always be the same person under it all. I must daily decide to enjoy the person God made me to be.”

There is such freedom in her words!! Ladies, God has made all of us special and unique! “We are fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalms 139:14. Don’t let others tell you that you different. Own your true identity in Jesus! Don’t let Satan get in your head and make you doubt who you are in Christ! You are amazing! God designed each of us with unique gifts and personalities! He wants you to live out your purpose that He designed you for and He wants us to build other women up! I encourage you to send a friend a sweet text, email, letter, phone call today reminding her how special she is and how much you appreciate her! All of us struggle with this at some level and I hope together we can own our true identity in Christ!

I want to end with one more thought. At the end of each chapter, Sally has a section called “Own Your Part.” This has become my new favorite saying; whenever I am in a situation, I think what is my part that I need to own. Again, it has become a part of my parenting as well!!

Own Your Part!

I see the words for a new sign that I need to make in my house!

Love, Jodi

God, thank you for growing us! Thank you for challenging us to become more Christ like in our responses, our attitudes and our choices. I pray that we can truly take ownership of our lives so “we can become all God created us to be and leave a legacy that points others to You.” Thank you for creating us special and unique! We love you so much!                               In Jesus Name, Amen

 

 

Hoodwinked

My February book recommendation is “Hoodwinked” by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. The tagline on the front of the book reads “Ten Myths Mom Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off.”

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This is so true!!   I think we believe certain lies that as a mom, we need to do it all right, enjoy every minute, be everything for everyone, so our kids will not make bad choices. At the end of each day, this false thinking leaves us feeling discouraged and exhausted. This book helps us see some of the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and how we need to stop believing these myths but instead focus on the truth. In the book, there are 10 myths that they discuss and I found them all very helpful!

Myth #1 Mothering is Natural, Easy, and Instinctive

Myth #2 The Way I Mother Is the Right (and Only Way)

Myth #3 I Am “Just” A Mom

Myth #4 Motherhood is All-Consuming and All-Fulfilling

Myth #5 A Good Mother Can Do It Alll, All At Once

Myth #6 Motherhood is a Rat Race

Myth #7 Motherhood is the Luck Of The Draw

Myth #8 Everything Depends On Me

Myth #9 I Have to Do It All Right, or My Child Will Turn Out Wrong.

Myth #10 My Child’s Bad Choices Means I’m a Bad Mom

Today, I just want to focus on Myth #6, “Motherhood is a Rat Race.” Now let me be the first to say that I struggle with this one. Life gets busy, kids schedules get full and we feel like life is just running around organizing, planning, scheduling…always rushing to the next thing. Can anyone relate to this one? Since this one is a struggle for me, I loved this chapter in the book!   The authors say this, “I have come to realize that the only way for the best of who I am to pour out to my family and in my ministry is to slooooow down. Make time for the moments in life.” I believe many of us are missing out because we are just too busy.

To help gain some perspective, they recommended these quick two exercises. They first said to take your age and subtract it from 81 (the current average age life expectancy of a woman) and then multiply it by 365 days to get an idea of how many more days you have left on planet Earth. Then, they ask you to take the age of your child and subtract it from eighteen (the age when most kids leave for college) and then multiply it by 365 days. This is how much time you have left with your child before they become an adult. If you have more than one child, you can do it for each one of them too.

WOW- this was eye opening!!!  Ladies, we need to be intentional with this limited time we have with our kids. My oldest turns 13 at the end of this month, I have about 5 years left with him living at home and if I multiply that by 365 that is only 1,825 days.   The authors say, “We count our days so we can make them count. Counting our days will help us clarify our mission as moms and live with greater purpose.” I LOVE this- I want to make every day count; I want to be intentional.

To do this, I have to carve out time in my schedule. The authors suggest making a list of your top priorities and then putting them on the calendar. Here are some examples that they shared in the book that I really liked and want for my family:

  • I want to have a daily quiet time alone with God
  • I want to pass along my faith to my kids
  • I want to be a fun and loving mom who is intentional and fully present
  • I want us to eat together as a family
  • I want to be a family that serves together

Lastly, they say to protect your time! This is the hardest part because this is where we have to say no to good things so we can say yes to the best things!!   About a year a half ago, I read the book, “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst (another great book) and it talked about having more margin in your life so you can choose the Best Yes. This chapter in the book talked about the same thing.  Listen to what the authors say, “Learn to discern the best things from all the good things out there takes wisdom. There is freedom in not saying yes to every single thing that comes your way. You come to realize that in saying no, you are actually saying yes. Saying yes to the ones how need you the most right now.”   This is so true but so hard to do!

Below is a prayer for me and for you as we try to prioritize our time!

Dear God, I pray right now for our time as moms! I pray we will use it wisely! I pray we put you first God and make time each day for you! I pray next that we protect our time with our families and that we will be intentional with every choice we make! God, I pray we will make every day count! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Love you all,

Jodi