Monthly Archives: March 2014

Four Ideas for Helping Young Parents Find Time with God

 

Mom and Baby

Weary Mom and Baby
Photo Credit JaneyHenning

I’ve just come back from a wonderful week with my son, DIL, and fabulous granddaughter. She’s 16 months old and a delight. She kept us busy from early morning until her bedtime – at which time we were all pretty tuckered out.

There was a lot I didn’t get done during that week, but the thing I missed the most was my quiet time. I had forgotten how hard it is to get in a little Bible and prayer time with a toddler underfoot. Her mom is pregnant, so often naps while Abby is napping. The rest of the day is consumed with chasing, reading, feeding, and playing. Wonderful, but tiring.

So how can a young mom or a caregiver get some time with God?

  • When I’m traveling and have less time for Bible study and prayer, my go-to remedy is the Daily Audio Bible app, available for every platform.  Host Brian Hardin reads through the Bible in a year with daily selections from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. The reading plus a short devotional last about 20 minutes and can be paused and restarted as needed. I listen while grooming in the morning and was often able to get through most of the broadcast before I was beautiful. This is a perfect app for young moms. Play it during breakfast.
  • Worship music can set a peaceful atmosphere in the home and give mom a way to keep her spirit focused on the Lord, even while caring for children. I keep my iPhone in my pocket with music playing while doing routine tasks. The little ones will also benefit from the atmosphere the worship music creates.
  • When my son was little, I loved my women’s Bible studies. With the cost of babysitters these days, it’s hard for mom and dad to get away for a co-ed small group. But that’s no reason to miss out. Mom and dad can trade times away for separate women’s and men’s studies.
  • And Grandma, honor your young daughters or DIL’s. Do what you can to provide babysitting, time away, and encouragement. Especially encourage them to give priority to time with the Lord.

It’s easy for a young mom to get on the treadmill and not even realize how long it’s been since she’s had time with God. Let’s do what we can to help them.

 

 

 

Need Help Juggling Your Many Roles? Read “The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman”

Hat Shop

Need a Hat? We Have Options…
Photo Credit: kamshots

The 500 Hats of the Mordern-Day Woman

The 500 Hats of the Modern-Day Woman
By Joyce Ellis

I often complain about the many plates I feel I need to keep spinning. Or the balls I try to keep in the air. Or juggling my many roles, even as an ordinary woman. Joyce Ellis in 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman: Strength for Today’s Demanding Roles takes a little more positive approach as she outlines nine of the many hats we as women wear. It just feels like 500…

With a bit of humor, a measure of insight, and a dose of biblical wisdom, Ellis affirms the joys and challenges of a woman’s life. While she offers practical strategies for each of the nine roles we play, I would have liked to have seen more focus on how we balance a head full of hats. Worn individually, I can handle 500 hats. Sometimes before breakfast. But when life comes crashing in and I’m expected to handle a head full of hats all at once, … well, that’s when I would have liked some balancing suggestions.

She echoed my feelings exactly when talking about setting priorities. She says, “But it’s not true that you’ll always find time for what you really want to do. I really want to do too many things.” Precisely. The book is filled with stories and vignettes including a few dealing with GenSandwichers and caregiving. But while they add flavor to the book, they don’t offer a lot of practical strategies for those of us struggling to keep up with challenges we don’t feel in control of.

The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman is an entertaining read, even while not offering a lot of new insights. AND… If you click the graphic below, you can enter to win:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis
  • A Modern-Day woman kit (T-shirt and hat)

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 30th. Winner will be announced April 1st on the Litfuse blog.

Win a Kindle HDX!
The 500 Hats of a Modern Day Woman Joyce K Ellis

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on April 1st to see if you won.

Is Your Loved One Causing You Caregiver Stress? Maybe Not…

Bang Head Here

Bang Head Here for Stress Relief
Photo Credit LynnHasselberger

If you’re a caregiver, you experience stress. That seems like a given, right? But here’s the question: does caregiving cause stress? That also seems like a given, right? In my book, caregiving = stress. Period. After all, you’re responsible not only for your own well-being and that of your immediate family, but also the well-being of one or more dependent adults. Often dependent adults who can’t or won’t carry their own weight.

However, a new study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine suggests that how we process caregiving stress depends largely on a person’s genes and upbringing – and less so on the difficulty of caregiving. Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Washington, argues that psychiatric states and psychological outcomes are a function of exposure to stressors and vulnerabilities (early family environment, genetic factors, disposition). How one responds to stressors also depends on a person’s resources (coping, social supports, income).

So, while caregivers may experience stress, caregiving isn’t the cause.

That makes sense. As Proverbs 23:7a tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds,” i.e., to change our feelings by finding a new way of thinking. If I decide that caregiving is causing me stress, I’ll be right. But if I can find a way to think differently about caregiving and my loved one, I will indeed feel different. I’ll be able to take caregiving in stride and perhaps even find ways to enjoy it. At least some of the time. The key really isn’t my challenging loved one. It’s me. It’s my mind and attitude.

What are some ways you manage the stress of caregiving?