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Category: Intentional Living

Doing our part on Earth Day


Our family will be selecting some of these fun ideas to help support our earth this Earth Day! These are all pretty simple, not terribly time consuming, and lots are even a GREAT bonding time!

  • Plant some trees
  • Stop using plastic straws
  • Vow to stop buying plastic single use water bottles
  • Bring your own bags to grocery stores
  • Shop at your local farmer’s market!
  • Use natural cleaning alternatives – like your Norwex products 😀
  • Pick up trash at your local park 
  • Start a backyard garden; it doesn’t have to be big!
  • Reuse materials, toilet paper rolls for crafts, cardboard boxes for moving, so many options.
  • Recycle materials
  • Cut down water use in your home
  • Choose and ice cream cone instead of an ice cream cup!
  • Buy energy efficient light bulbs

Just think, if we could all put a few of these into action how big of an impact it would make! I’d love to hear what you and your family are doing to give back for Earth Day!

Less chemicals = MORE LOVE!

Since tomorrow is Valentines Day, let’s talk about a HUGE way you can show some love to your family – reducing the amount of chemicals in your home!! This might not be noticed as much as chocolate or a bouquet of roses, but trust me, your family’s bodies will be thanking you!

Did you know: The average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals – more than a chemistry lab at the turn of the century. More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced since WWII, and less than 2% of those chemicals have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic, carcinogenic, or birth defects. ?!?!?!?!? Oh my word!! Crazy you guys. Show your people how much you loooove them by removing some chemicals from your home and introducing them to some earth-friendly alternatives! And maybe buying chocolates or roses, cooking them a nice dinner, or simply telling them how much they mean to you 🙂

God Sized Dreams

As children we dream and imagine how our lives will be without focusing on limitations. I grew up on an Emu farm in the countryside of Vermont where I was encouraged to roam free every chance I could. Good memories and work ethic were built during my childhood farm days and my childhood dream pretty much mimicked that.

White Farmhouses and Red Barns in the Dream

Then, like most people, hardships entered my life and the culture around me told me that to be successful was to go to college to get a degree and then work a 9-5 plus job BUT don’t have crazy dreams and vision because that just isn’t safe and you might mess up. The more I listened to these voices, the dream of living on a farm in the countryside started to fade. My limiting beliefs only grew when I decided to leave my engineering job to have more flexibility with my growing family (this was one of the best decisions that I ever made mind you!) because when going from two incomes to one income without good benefits, the monthly budget became very tight. I remember needing to sell the second car to pay the home birth midwife and wondering how we were going to fill the oil tank to heat the house so how on earth could we EVER save enough for a future farm? But man…what a gift that season was! In the middle of pinching pennies and raising littles, Norwex was plopped into my life through a health issue that I was having. I didn’t have the money to buy all the things that I really wanted for my home, so I decided to host my own party and from that party I decided to join the business (I was clueless on how to do this party plan type of business and even had some negative thoughts about parties in general but I knew that the products ROCKED and some extra wiggle room in our monthly budget sounded appealing too).

Looking back, if I had more money to spend when I learned about Norwex, I may not have hosted my party and then would have been robbed of this incredible opportunity. One party at a time, I grew and God revealed my limiting beliefs and He told me to remember my childhood dream. Only I put those limits on myself and chose to believe the lie that a huge goal wasn’t attainable. I daily choose to say no to doubts and yes to our future red barns, Friesian horses, cows, kids working in the muck and mud and manure, husband working with his hands while teaching our kids how to push through hardships. Each day brings us closer to this dream and I believe that anyone living in this country can live the life and dream that God has given them too.

Friesian Horses

One of the most invaluable lessons that I have learned from growing my Norwex business is to dream and dream big, while having the courage to take action with the risk of failure. Now I see that I wasn’t giving myself permission to dream BIG because of fear and the reasons that I can’t do something are simply excuses. I LOVE helping my teammates dream again and give them a plan to crush their goals.

Now let me ask you, what are your BIG dreams? What are the reasons that you are not going for this dream? What are the limits that you are putting on yourself (or the limits that others are putting on you that you are choosing to listen to)?

Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is always a season that makes me really check my heart attitude. I tell my kids that being grateful is a choice and doesn’t depend on our circumstances. But it takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. As people, we are can easily go down the “grass is greener over yonder and life stinks and I would rather work somewhere else and I hate doing all this laundry and dishes! look at all the dishes!…la la la la la” road of complaining. I once heard someone say that complaining is like throwing up on people. I would say that’s true.

So I have learned over the years that being grateful starts with ME making a choice to practice gratefulness and then taking action. Did you know that your thoughts are powerful and can be controlled? Being intentional about replacing the negative thoughts about the mountains of laundry and the amount of time spent in the kitchen cooking for my family, with grateful thoughts of the people that I get to serve and the fact that I’m not alone and have food. “Put your focus not on what you HAVE to do but what you GET to do” (I can’t remember who said that wise statement). This includes changing 10 poopie diapers in one day and breaking up kid fights over and over again.

Keeping a gratitude journal is a really great way of being intentional about the gifts in life. I have a page in my planner that’s dedicated to gratefulness. Constantly voicing how blessed we are to my children in place of complaints has to happen as these little people watch mom and dad. The book “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp is absolutely amazing and a must read for all that wish to learn how to live a life of gratitude and how to be intentional.

What are some ways that you are intentional about choosing gratefulness? With Thanksgiving in two days, let’s think about ways we can choose JOY and GRATEFULNESS over stress & worry & envy. Not only on Thanksgiving – but every day of the year!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Instilling Helpfulness in Kids

It’s my job as a mom to teach my kids how to be productive, diligent, and have hearts that aim to serve others before themselves. They need to be prepared and ready for the world when the time comes and my husband and I aim to equip them one day at a time, one lesson at a time, and one hug and pat on the back a time. I will say that it’s a huge process that does not happen overnight! I am the first to admit that I have lost my patience in my heart more times than one when facing a 5-year-old with a bad attitude or a lazy 10-year-old that leaves her junk scattered all over the place. Teaching my children how to change their heart attitude has been a personal growing experience for myself, as God gently shows me the issues in my own heart that need pruning.

Over the last 11 years of being a mom, I have learned that patient encouragement goes a long way. Explaining the heart behind WHY we all help in our family and why we take care of our space to be good stewards of what we’ve been given is important. Here are some tips that have helped me manage my busy home and ways the kids help in our home:

  1. Do chores together! I used to wait until nap time or nighttime to clean the house. No more. We all do our chores TOGETHER.
  2. Teach age appropriate chores and have the child do them repeatedly. When my kids complain about doing a specific chore, I tell them that they will do their task until 1. They learn to master it and 2. They learn to master it with a happy heart.
  3. Have a chore system in your home. There are so many to implement and I have tried several. For my family, a simple chore chart works best. I wrote about how I go about my system here: Start Em While they are Young Part 1 and Start Em While they are Young Part 2
  4. Work before Play. We work hard and then play hard.
  5. Praise Praise Praise!

A very wise woman that successfully raised nine children once told me her story of how she flopped herself down on the couch one day, exhausted after mothering her then four children. She said that she needed to change something in her home. She was led to this book . 

I don’t want my children to grow up with an entitled attitude or a heart that is ruled by instant gratification and pleasure. Starting with honestly examining our own hearts, and then helping our children to be servants of others will bring more fulfillment and positive change in our world.