Feeling Scattered?
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Do you have days when you run in twenty different directions, yet never seem to accomplish anything on your To Do list? Every mom knows that feeling. Between the distractions on our cell phones, interruptions of the unexpected and overloaded schedules (both kids and ours), most of us find it difficult to simply move from Point A to Point B of our daily tasks.

One way to help us stay focused and on task is to apply what I call the “Principle of Three.” Generally speaking, our brains find it easier to remember things in threes. In writing, the “Rule of Three,” suggests that a trio of three characters or events are more satisfying, effective and even funnier than other numbers (The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, Three Blind Mice). And of course, every preacher knows the power of a 3-point sermon. The Principle of Three is seen throughout nature: three primary colors, three parts of a human (body, mind and spirit) and three beings in the Trinity (Father, Son, Spirit).

If we apply the Principle of Three to our daily life as a mom, it can help us to feel a sense of accomplishment in our day. As you write out your To Do List each morning (some prefer to write it out the night before), choose 3 priorities from the list. What 3 things are essential to accomplish for the day? Use a highlighter to designate your top 3 priorities and work steadily to accomplish them. With a focus of 3, you are more likely to remember and accomplish the essentials for each day.

Take a broader perspective for the week. On Sunday afternoon, consider the week ahead and write down three priorities for the week. Maybe it is to get the kids new bathing suits, enroll them in an art class, and get the laundry done. As you move through the week, keep your three priorities in focus. This will help you decide what’s important and what can wait. You will also be able to look back on the week with a smile and realize – I Did It! I accomplished 3 things!

Another way to apply the Principle of Three is to prayerfully think about  three character qualities you want to see growing in your kids’ lives. Write them on an index card and place it where all the family members can see it. Words such as kindness, honesty, thankfulness can serve as an inspiration to everyone in the house.

There are many other ways to apply the Principle of Three to your personal life. Start each day with this combination of 3: pray, read, and count your blessings. You will find that your perspective is clearer and your outlook on life is brighter.

In what ways can you apply the Principle of Three to your daily routine?

 

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The Comparison Trap
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Many years ago I coached high school track. One important lesson I taught to my sprinters was to keep their eyes on the finish line.  If a sprinter takes even a second to glance at the runners on either side of her – she’s lost the race. In running as well as in life, we must learn to keep our eyes on the race we are running and not become distracted by comparing ourselves with others.  Easier said than done, right? As women, we so quickly begin to compare with the other women around us. All it takes is a quick glance at Instagram and our mind starts rolling. She’s prettier, she’s better, she does it all, I’m a nobody, I’m a failure….

It’s a trap we can easily stumble into, and in the process we become dissatisfied with who we are and what God has planned for us. We tend to lose sight of what our purpose is in life.  Perhaps that’s why the apostle Paul, with his powerfully purpose-filled life, was able to say, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God is calling me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Just as a sprinter keeps her eye on the goal or the finish line, so we need to keep our eyes fixed on the purpose God has given us and not be distracted by envy, jealousy or comparisons. True maturity is when we can look with joy at how God is blessing others and sincerely be thankful for the way God uses each one of us in a variety ways and in different styles.

There is only one you. God made you with a unique set of gifts and talents and with a distinctive purpose in this world. When we keep our eyes on the fact that God is at work in and through us to accomplish what He put us on this earth to do, we begin to feel a joyful confidence. We can rejoice in our assignment in the big scheme of life. On the other hand, when we start looking at everyone else and begin to compare ourselves with others, we either become prideful or we become jealous. Comparisons tend to zap us of our strength, distract us from our purpose and throw us off course from our goals.

Positive Life Strategy

Positive Truth

God has a unique plan for each one of us which He carries out

using the gifs and talents He has given us.

 

Plan of Action

  • Guard your mind against comparing with others by turning your focus upwards.
  • Ask for God’s help and direction as you use your unique gifts and talents.
  • Open your eyes to the blessings that God has given you right now.
  • Thank Him for His unique plan for your life every day.
  • Rejoice in who the Lord is and the work He is doing in your life as well as in others.
  • Be happy with others for the good things happening in their lives.

 

Pay it Forward

Celebrate someone else’s success by letting them know that you are rejoicing with them. Write them a note, bring them flowers or do something kind for them as you give thanks for the wonderful and unique plan God has for their life. Consider someone who has recently experienced a blessing in their life, whether an achievement, an honor or a promotion. Maybe it is someone who has just gotten married or had a new baby. You may even want to consider someone who has sparked a slight bit of jealousy in your mind. Determine to be truly happy for them and honor them for the good that has come to them.

This is an excerpt from Positive Life Principles for Women  https://positivewomanconnection.com/books/#encourage

 

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Discovering Hope
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Life doesn’t always turn out as we dreamed it would. Frustrations  happen. People change. Circumstances can seem overwhelming at times. Is it possible to birth something hopeful, when all we can see is our challenges?

Being a positive mom doesn’t mean we ignore the pain or frustrations.  It does mean, as we embrace the challenges, we ask the question, “How can I grow or learn or make something good come out of this?”

Helen Keller showed us what it looks like to overcome the negatives. Born in 1880, a severe illness left her unable to see or hear. Yet through the patient and persistent instruction of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Helen learned to read, write and speak. She didn’t stop there! She went on to study French and Greek at Radcliffe College. At the age of 26, she published her life story and became a well-known public figure and humanitarian, speaking in over twenty-five countries throughout the world. Her life and story has inspired countless millions to turn life’s challenges into possibilities.

She wrote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Certainly her incredible accomplishments epitomize human potential in the face of adversity.

It’s not what happens to us that define us, it’s what we do with it that matters. Let’s be willing to change our focus. As moms, we can teach our kids to be creative and look for ways to make the best out of the worst. Each of us  can find hope in unlikely places, but we have to be looking for it.

Make this a week of possibilities!

Photo by Claude Piché on Unsplash

Read more in The Power of a Positive Mom

10 Principles of Positive People
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How would you describe a truly positive person? My personal definition includes someone who is both realistic and optimistic – a person who is an encourager rather than a discourager. A positive person doesn’t ignore the frustrations and the downsides of life, they just choose to look at them in light of the possibilities, not the problems.

The question is, can any mom become a more optimistic thinker, even the cup-half-empty sort? Recent studies in neuroscience tell us yes, people can change the way they think. Often when we get in a rut of negative thinking, we continue to play the same patterns of thought over and over again, but it is possible to start new patterns. When we change our thinking habits and focus on what is good and hopeful, our brains create new neuropathways. We can develop a new pattern of looking toward the opportunities, rather than dwelling on the obstacles.

Generally speaking, there are a few common characteristics I have observed in those moms who live with a sunny disposition. Positive people tend to:

  1. Focus on the good qualities in both people and circumstances, and stop comparing with others.
  2. Consider the needs of others, looking for ways to bring joy into someone else’s life.
  3. Practice daily gratitude to God and to others.
  4. Let go of past hurts and bitterness, and live with a forgiving heart.
  5. Choose to learn from their mistakes and mishaps.
  6. Grieve when they need to.
  7. Smile and laugh often.
  8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, recognizing the benefit of exercise and eating well.
  9. Speak with love and kindness to everyone, no matter the position or role they play.
  10. Pray daily, giving cares and worries to God.

What about you? Are there any new habits you want to start forming as a mom? Which principles do you want to encourage in your kids?

 

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Choosing Happy
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Not too long ago I discovered a humorous list of “The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life.” It serves as a reminder of the choices we face every single day: Will we embrace both the gifts and the challenges life brings, or will we grumble and be miserable through the process? Will we be moms with a purposeful and positive mentality or people with a “poor me” mentality? Here’s the list:

10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life

  1. Thou shalt hold onto bitterness, hatred and anger.
  2. Thou shalt never get too close to anybody. Keep all of thy relationships on the surface level.
  3. Thou shalt wear a glum expression on thy face at all times, and guard against laughter.
  4. Thou shalt inflict blame and condemnation on all who disagree with thee.
  5. Thou shalt complain about the small stuff, forgetting the bigger picture.
  6. Thou shalt think of thy own needs and focus on thyself rather than thinking of the needs of others.
  7. Thou shalt hold regular pity parties, inviting others to join thee.
  8. Thou shalt not take a break, exercise or relax. Never allow thyself to be still, pray or meditate on truth.
  9. Thou shalt expect the worst in all situations, shame those around you and dwell on the feebleness, faults and fears of others, while never seeing thine own.
  10. Thou shalt attempt to control every situation without flexibility. *

I don’t know about you, but in the great adventure of life, I want to experience joy in the journey – not misery in the muck! I want my life to move in a positive direction and bless others, and I think you do too. Let’s be honest, no matter what our circumstances or background look like, we can choose our attitude and outlook in life.

In the next few weeks on this blog, I plan to examine the principles of a positive woman. Even if you are the “cup half empty” sort of person, you can begin to change your attitude and thought-life today. Let’s take some time to look over the “10 Commandments of an Unhappy Life” and consider any of the qualities that may apply to our own attitudes. Let’s also make a conscious decision to reverse our thinking and start a new pattern.

If you were to write, “10 Commandments for a Happy Mom,” what would you include on the list? I’ll show you my list next week.

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The positive message from this blogpost can be found in The Power of a Positive Woman.  To learn more about Karol’s encouraging books Click Here

 

*The 10 Commandments for an Unhappy Life” was adapted from Edward Rowell & Bonnie Steffen, Humor for Preaching and Teaching (1996)

 

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