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Oct 28, 2011

Filling Up Our Watering Cans

with watering can

Photo Credit: Jessica Wilson

When you hear the word “sabbath”, most people automatically think Sundays spent at church.  They think of time being spent at a building with other people in their neighborhood, praying and singing hymns.  They expect rigid dogma to get in the way of having any pleasant conversation or enjoyable time.

But the word Sabbath actually means “to rest”.  It’s really just that simple!  It’s a day we’re supposed to spend resting and relaxing, getting ready for the week ahead.  Sometimes we need an afternoon nap.  Sometimes we need a coffee and cheesecake date with a friend.  Sometimes we need some quiet time to read a book and sip a cup of tea.  But in any case, no matter what your walk and path are, all it means to Sabbath is “to rest”.  It’s a time to take a second, catch your breath, and let your mind stop racing, so you can confidently get yourself ready for taking care of your obligations.

When you make a practice of setting up a Sabbath day for yourself, you are setting aside time to rejuvinate and relax.  Give yourself some time to do the things you enjoy doing, with whomever you enjoy being!  This can take all kinds of shapes and sizes, such as an afternoon of playing at the park, or a day at the beach.  It could include a trip to the hair dresser, a succulant dessert, or a really great yoga class.  In any case, however you do it, taking time to Sabbath is so important.

The reason I bring this up is because I really believe that we moms do not take time out of our busy days to practice Sabbath.  We’re like busy gardeners, swirling around all the beautiful flowers and vegetables we so lovingly and tenderly care for.  Our children, our spouses, our friends, our church communities, our families, our jobs, our blogs, our hobbies.  But you can’t water the flowers with an empty watering can.  You have to take a break, and fill it up again with cool, refreshing water, or you cannot provide for all those flowers.

We’ve all been empty watering cans.  We try to cook nourishing, real food meals, homeschool curious minds, be well dressed and attractive, volunteer with our outside obligations, keep our homes immaculate, write cleverly on our blogs, and so many other daily objectives.  And we’ve all seen what happens.  We grumble and whine.  We snap at our children.  We feel resentment towards others whom we don’t see working as hard as we are.  We feel neglected and used.  We eventually toss our hands up in the air and crash, and feel guilty.

It’s not necessary to be this way if you just take time to Sabbath.  Do something every day, a few times a week, or even once a week, just for you, to relax and rejuvenate yourself.  It is so dearly important to give yourself some time to refill your watering can.  Christian moms are commanded to take time to rest.  Besides that, even God rested.  If you think you don’t have time to spend on you, that would mean you’re busier than God!  And we all know that isn’t true!

I like to practice my Sabbath on Fridays.  For me, Sabbath normally involves me doing as little as possible, such as making the bed, throwing dinner in the crockpot, and then off we go!  Naomi and I spend our day going for walks, browsing the library, visiting with relatives, and having fun making messes while we play.  That evening, we go out with Michael and get our grocery shopping done and maybe get a treat, like ice cream or cupcakes.  After Naomi goes to bed, Michael and I get caught up on our favorite television shows and chat about what’s going on with us and our household. We snuggle, we relax.  It’s wonderful.

You might not have a whole day to devote to yourself, but you must be able to find some time to spend doing something that makes you feel better.  It might be pushing a stroller while you take a nice quiet walk with your mp3 player.  It might be stopping for an ice cream cone on your way home from the grocery store.  It might be volunteering at the local animal shelter to walk and play with the dogs.  It might be no more than an extra long shower on the weekends.  No matter what it is, and how much you have to do, you can find time to be good to yourself.

So please, take the time go go fill up your watering can.  And then go water those beautiful flowers you so lovingly treasure.

Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the
other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)

  • The Art of Being Thoughtful – Becky at Old New Legacy likes that she is mostly thoughtful but wants to become more thoughtful. She shares a story that demonstrates that giving gifts doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • I love me (and running)! – Sheryl of Little Snowflakes writes about her new love of running and how it has helped her learn to love herself!
  • For the Love of Moe – Valerie at Momma in Progress shares her thoughts on a body forever changed, but forever loved.
  • Where I Find My Worth – Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares how finding her worth in worldly things always falls short.
  • Oh Yeah, I’m Cool – Tree at Mom Grooves shares her very favorite gift and the thing she most wants to pass on to her daughter.
  • Loving – Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about some of the things she loves about herself – some easily, and some by choice for the sake of healing.
  • Baby Strikes A Pose – Emma from Your Fonder Heart writes about her family’s decision not to let their 7 month old model, and uses the opportunity to think more deeply about girls (young and old) and how they determine their self-worth.
  • I Love Me! – A Rampage of Appreciation! – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle stops waiting for anyone else to tell her she is wonderful and goes on a rampage of appreciation for herself!
  • Raising Healthy Daughters – In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Kate Wicker offers tips to pass on a healthy self-image to the young ladies in our care.
  • Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy – How does it feel to have a healthy pregnancy? Dionna at Code Name: Mama discovers that making positive choices can be empowering.
  • Filling Up Our Watering Cans – Nada at miniMOMist believes that practicing Sabbath is the same as being a gardener who lovingly tends to the flowers in her garden. She needs to fill up her watering can first.
  • Better Body by Baby – Jess from Mama ‘Roo and Family Too! shares how having her first baby makes her feel even more beautiful and confident about her body than ever before.
  • These Breasts Were Made for Nursing – Becoming a mother helped Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to embrace her womanhood and improve her self image.
  • Yeah, I’m Pretty Cool – Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro writes about her own self love and how she hopes to foster the same self-respect in her children.
  • Who I’ve Become – The future is bright with That Mama Gretchen who shares her past and present perspective on body image and how she hopes to become a change agent with her daughter.
  • Ever-Evolving Me – Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about her innate drive to continue learning, growing, and evolving.
  • I love you for your mind – Lauren at Hobo Mama turns a dubious phrase on its head with a little self-loving slam poetry.
  • Stop Think of Love with Your Body – Amy of Peace 4 Parents shares an exercise to gradually transition from hating to loving your body – stretch marks, sags, imperfections, and all.
  • I Love Me! – Jenny @ I’m a full-time mummy shares the things that she loves about herself!
  • caught in a landslide – jaqbuncad of wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! shares a list of reasons why zie loves hir body.
  • Love Your Tree – How do you picture the ways your body and mind change? Amy at Anktangle writes about how trees help her have perspective about her own growth over time.
  • Pumpkin Butt – Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes about how birth and pumpkins are the way to accepting her body
  • I do love me – Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the lessons about loving herself she wants to pass along to her daughter.
  • Appreciating Who I Am – Linni at An Unschooling Adventure describes the things she likes about herself and the way she appreciates who she is as a person.
  • I love me! : A journey – Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her journey on arriving at the point where she can say: I love me!
  • My Daughter Doesn’t Care So Why Should I? – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama calls herself on the carpet for the image of self love and beauty she portrays in front of her toddler.
  • Finding out who I am – Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares an exercise that helped her identify positive qualities she possesses, and how that has helped her learn to love herself.
Oct 25, 2011
Comments Off on The No Cry Picky Eater Solution

The No Cry Picky Eater Solution

A friend of mine called me this morning.  She and I have an unspoken rule, where we call upon each other to rant about the different promotion and encouragement that we see out there regarding parents to use “conventional” methods of child rearing without even hinting that there might be other techniques.  In this case, she was irritated at a friend of hers on Facebook, who had posted about the terrible habit that she and her husband had gotten into with their baby: the child would only sleep if she slept in the same bed as them.  My friend was irritated that out of all the responses this woman received, not one of them talked about the merits and benefits of cosleeping and bedsharing.

While they are continuing to grow in popularity, gentle parenting books seem few and far between.  The promotion to bottle feed, disposable diaper, cry it out, and spank, are overwhelming.  And most parents never know that there are good, encouraging alternatives out there.  The works of Dr. William Sears, Dr. Jay Gordon, the Le Leche League, and many others have supported, encouraged and promoted natural parenting, attachment parenting and gentle parenting for years.  And yet, so many people have never even heard of them.

Which is why I’m so excited to hear about Elizabeth Pantley’s newest book, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution.  I sought out her books when Naomi and I were struggling with her napping and sleeping schedules.  It was so reassuring to see gentle techniques to help her transition over time.  Michael and I struggled with several different attempts to get her to sleep without nursing for several weeks.  Elizabeth’s techniques in The No Cry Sleep Solution helped me figure out ways to see that Naomi wasn’t ready to be sleeping without nursing at the time.  It wasn’t til she was over a year, and I was returning to work three nights a week, that we could design a bedtime routine centered around cuddling with Daddy and not nursing to sleep.

Elizabeth also has whole series of No Cry Solutions books and this one is something I will definitely be interested in.  In all honesty, I fear her picky eating phase.  Michael is one of the pickiest eaters that I know of (though to his credit, he has improved remarkably over the years that I’ve known him!) and I worry that she will take after him in that area.  So I’m very interested to see what she has to say.

Here’s an excerpt from her new book:

“What’s in your kitchen? A typical home contains plenty of healthy food, along with an assortment of snacks, desserts, and less healthy fare. An adult can sift through all this and decide what’s best to eat, picking healthy options and judiciously choosing the right time for and amount of junk food and desserts.Children, however, will naturally be drawn to the tastiest option, with no guilt over the resulting choice. They will open the refrigerator or pantry and pick the most appetizing thing they see.

How can you help your child make better choices? The best way is to put the healthy foods where they can be seen easily and allow your child to choose between the nutritious options in view. Place desserts and junk foods on high shelves or in opaque containers. This way you can dole out the treats when and where you feel they’re appropriate.”

I am very much looking forward to this book!  Elizabeth’s sweet, gentle tone and pleasant attitude toward difficult parenting situations is very refreshing in a world overrun with cold, harsh, unfeeling suggestions that don’t always suit everyone’s situation.

Disclaimer:  As much as I do enjoy Elizabeth Pantley’s books, I will be honest — this post is part of a contest to win copies of her books.  If I do win, I’m planning to do a giveaway.  If not, well, I really have enjoyed her books anyway, and I really do want to encourage more parents to seek out alternative methods of disciplining, changing behaviour, and raising their children.  

This post is a part of Book Sharing Monday at Smiling Like Sunshine.


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Oct 22, 2011
Comments Off on Link Love Round Up

Link Love Round Up

Autumn's Arrived!

Photo Credit: Caro Wallis

So we are coming to the end of October so rapidly.  This month seems to have flown by for us.  I cannot believe there’s only ten days left.  Oh autumn, you’re so wonderful and yet so brief.  I do not look forward to the coming winter.  I have never been a fan of snow, nor the cold.  But this year, I will have the joy of seeing snow and ice through the eyes of a toddler.  So perhaps I will get to take in something completely different.
  • I want to eat… homemade goat cheese.  I wonder if I could talk Michael into getting a goat…
  • I want to read… this adorable classic Sesame Street story.  You can’t get any sweeter than Grover trying to protect you from a monster!
  • I want to listen to… this sweet little song Teresa Doyle penned for her husband.
  • I want to dream… of a perfectly organized yarn stash.  I guess old suitcases will have to do for now.
  • I want to enjoy… warm cozy hands, in warm cozy hand warmers.  In pretty colors.
  • I want to discuss… what picture would you keep in a locket?
  • I want to experience… what it feels like to flip through the pages of a well loved Bible.
  • I want to remember… what it was like to go fishing with my dad.  I want to show Naomi what that feels like.
  • I want to make… these really cute personalized coasters.  So many possibilities!
  • I want to quote… Rose MacAulay, and remind myself of this when things are a mess and Naomi wants to play.


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Oct 15, 2011
Comments Off on Link Love Round Up

Link Love Round Up

Waxed Leaves

We’ve been thoroughly enjoying this delicious autumn, savoring warm soups, brisk morning walks, and cuddling under blankets with story books.  I am inspired to knit, read, and chase Naomi around the house while she giggles madly.  We are together, warm and happy, in our own little piece of paradise.  I’ve also spent some time browsing around the internet, discovering what autumn treats my friends online have discovered.

I want to eat… homemade chicken noodle soup for Naomi — and freeze it in this brilliant way!  How did I not think of this before?!

I want to read… some of these delightful classic children stories to Naomi.  I think I’d better print this off the next time we go to the library!

I want to listen to… my beloved Mumford & Sons singing Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  These guys are one of my favorite new bands.

I want to dream… about being a 50’s housewife… and living vicariously through Jenn Byck’s experience.

I want to enjoy… cuddling under a warm, snuggly quilt… made of old baby clothes.  I want to make this out of all the things that Naomi stained and ruined.

I want to discuss… the experiences Trevor Eissler had with Montessori schools, as shown in this  321 FastDraw presentation.  The more I look and the more I learn about children’s education, the more I am coming to realize how important it is to Michael and I that I homeschool Naomi based on a Montessori homeschool environment.

I want to experience… homemade marshmallows.  Hmmm, maybe for a special Hallowe’en treat?

I want to remember… all the great things homemaking gives me an opportunity to do!

I want to make… some of these great looking baby gifts.  I just need more friends and family to have babies!  😀

I want to quote… this excellent way of looking at life, from Mahatma Ghandi.


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