Monday, March 16, 2015

Motherhood with Vitality! - Part 2 of 2

In part 1 I covered practices to encourage being well-rested; in this part 2 I will cover additional practices for being energetic, and for looking energetic!  *smile*
  • Daily time with the Lord 
  • Water
  • Green smoothies
  • Vitamin D
  • Shower before the children are up 
  • Make-up tip
  • Avoid sugar
  • Choosing thankfulness

I am often asked by people who know me or just see me out and about, how do I have such vitality and joy with my children - and especially with so many children?  I'm happy to share with you what I've learned along my life journey, and I hope it will bless you as well.  

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In addition to being well-rested, there are several other things I do to not only help me be more energetic, but to help me look as energetic as I feel!  *smile*


Daily time with the Lord

Honestly, parents cannot do parenting, marriage, and life in own strength.  We need the Lord every single day.  We do not have in our own ability enough patience, creativity, endurance, joy, peace, faithfulness, or meekness - but God has all of this and so much more.  We need to draw on His resources every morning, and start my day off right.  We need to spend time with our Lord so that we can know Him intimately, lean on Him better, trust Him more, and understanding Him and the life He's given me to best serve and care for the people He's put in our lives (including our husband and children).  The Lord, Jesus Christ, created my inner most being.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He has great gifts for us and great plans - but we cannot receive His gifts or follow His plans if we do not spend time with Him every day.  

Now there is no rule that says this time has to be first thing in the morning.  I've tried having my "Quiet Time" at varying times of day.  I've had it at night in certain seasons of life, or during the children's afternoon nap time, but for me personally neither of these times served me nearly as well as first thing in the morning does.  When I begin my day with the King of Kings I have a good outlook on life, and good things occupying my mind when I've focused it on Him instead of myself.  This brings a smile to my face, and a bounce in my step; it effects my energy level, and whether or not I look energetic as well.  *chuckle*  *wink*  When I know that God loves me, and that all I have to do today is follow His lead as He is ultimately in control of all things - I can enter in to my day with joy!  And, time with the Lord actually helps me sleep better at night because I know that He is protecting and providing for His child even while I sleep.  Focusing my mind on my Lord every day helps me always have something to smile about! 



Water

I strive to drink 8 cups of water a day, but 10-12 would be even better; this is my future goal.  Eight cups a day, however, initially felt daunting to me going in to my day with such a goal, and I was finding that I rarely drank even 3-4 cups a day just trying to remember to have a glass here and there.  My mind is highly active with our family of 11, and I simply didn't think of drinking water periodically.  So a few years ago I began filling a 32 oz. water bottle every morning and drinking that entire bottle before leaving the bathroom after my shower and preparations for the day.  It feels great to know  in the morning that I already have 4 cups down for the day!

My system gets a good washing through, my skin looks nice, lips don't feel too dry, I feel more alert, and I feel full and less inclined to eat too much for breakfast.  Now honestly, I drink the first 8 oz. or so feeling thirsty, and the other 24 oz. I try to view as "gasoline" for my body.  *laugh*  The first cup tastes nice and inviting; the last 3 cups feel like necessary fuel.  So I don't necessarily feel thirsty for the whole bottle, but I choose to drink it all none the less.  I mention this so that if or when you find yourself thinking, "...I just don't want that much..." as I do sometimes, you can say to yourself, "That's okay, but it's necessary and invaluable, so drink up!"  *smile*  I know water does countless additional good things for our bodies.


Green smoothies

These are a delicious way to start off a day!  Vegetable and fruit smoothies bring clarity and energy in the morning, instead of bogging our systems down with heavy, sweet carbs (which tend to put me to sleep around mid-morning *chuckle*).  You can read more about green smoothies, our recipes, and the health benefits of them in my post on this subject.


Vitamin D

Like water, vitamin D gives us countless benefits both in daily results and proactively for our future!  This liquid sunshine is especially valuable for us Washingtonians here in the great North West of the united states, who do not get quite enough sunshine because it is so often raining or wet outside!  (Which makes our state  beautifully green, by the way, which we love.  *smile*)  I read all about vitamin D online and from our naturopathic doctor and chiropractors, and determined that we all would be taking "D drops" every day.  And one of the great immediate benefits is that this miraculous little vitamin builds our immune systems!  We've hardly been sick at all since we began taking vitamin D drops every day a couple of years ago.  We use a high quality Carlson's brand, which I purchase at our local Super Supplements store.

Some of the benefits of vitamin D, according to www.WebMD.com, are:  improves calcium absorption, preventing osteoporosis; minimizes the risk of type 1 Diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and esophagus, heart attacks, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis; and lower your blood pressure, just to name a few.  *smile*

One tip for purchasing these nice little drops:  it costs about $23 for a bottle of 4,000 IU per drop vitamin D, and it costs the same amount for a bottle of 400 IU per drop for the children.  So instead of buying one bottle for the whole family, you can just buy the more concentrated drops for adults and take only 1-2 drops per day.

The vitamin is tasteless and we just put the drops under our tongue for fast absorption, however the drops can be put on a food, or in a drink, or wherever to get them in to your system.  But I figure if it's such a tiny quantity I don't want to waste any of it as it lingers on my drinking glass - so we put it strait in to our mouths, every one from parents down to newborn babies.  Healthier family equals more energy for mom!  *smile*


Shower before the children are up

Being showered and feeling fresh and clean every morning HUGELY effects my attitude and how I approach my day!  And if I do not have a shower before the children are up, then I cannot have one until nap time at 2:00.  But I highly value this break in my day and do not wish to use it up taking a shower.  So - I rise early enough every morning to have a shower before the children are awake as part of my preparations to be ready to have a great day.  I feel and look fresh and clean.  My eyes feel alert (not puffy tired, which makes me scowl and feel crabby), I feel my prettiest for my husband especially, the children think I look pretty which makes them feel valuable that I take care of myself for them, and I'm ready to greet anyone who comes to our door, or go out if we need to spontaneously.  I do not like to feel afraid that someone might come by and see me looking like I just woke up, and I do not like to feel frustrated or angry because I have to go in to public looking like I just woke up if we need to leave to take a child to the doctor, for example.

Also, my husband delights in periodically stopping by to stay 'hi' during his work day.  I desire to look my best for him, and for him to see that I'm enjoying the life we have together!  I am the only wife he's ever going to have, after all - he deserves to have a wife that is pleasing to his eye.  I don't know that wives should expect to be their husband's delight when they as wives are not striving to look delightful, hm?  *smile*

Now mind you I didn't say looking perfect (no one is perfect, and that is not a reasonable thing to strive for).  I mean making an effort to look pretty every day.  And of course our husbands do not delight only in our appearance, but in our inward beauty especially; but I'll tell you, when I'm feeling frumpy and haven't had a shower yet, I'm convinced it effects my "inward beauty" as well, or lack there of.  *laugh*  *wink*


Make-up tip

I have had several make-overs in my life, and I've learned a lot each time about how to do my own make up well.  How to emphasize my good features (not try to create features that I simply do not have), and how to use make up that lasts all day and looks natural.  One thing in particular I learned is how to use a "vanilla"-white type color of make up in order to bring "light" to my eyes.  This really helps chase away the shadows or natural redness around the eyes which make people look tired.  I use M.A.C. cosmetics for just a few of the important items (the rest is Almay or Loreal), because it's high quality staying on all day.  It may cost twice as much as the grocery store products, but each item I purchase literally lasts for at least 2 years before I have to get a new one!  Anyway, I brush a "light"-enhancing powder on to my eye lids just above my eye liner, the entire length of the eyelid and toward the outside of my eyes, and also just below the edge of my eyebrow, center arch and toward the outside.

Our teenage daughters have studied cosmetology extensively from home (many books from the library and the entire My Lady text book which the cosmetology schools use), and they confirm that this strategy really transforms how awake a person looks.  It brings "light" to the eyes, giving an awake, bright, younger, no shadows and no redness look.

I would encourage you to learn to enhance your own naturally beautiful traits by treating yourself to a free-with-purchase make over at the nearest department store that sells nice cosmetics, such as Macy's or Nordstrom.  You don't have to purchase all your make up there, but you can learn how to emphasize your best features from the professionals!  *smile*


Avoid sugar


Too much sugar has always caused me to feel depressed.  I often have had an "I can't do this" mentality about life and parenting when I've had sugar, which has brought me to sobbing tears. When I stayed away from sugar I also started losing the "baby weight" I had acquired during pregnancies, which is of course an added blessing!  So avoiding sugar very much helps me personally to feel my best - energetic and joyful, not depressed and tired. For more details on how and why I do this you can read my post, Freedom From a Sugar Addiction. *smile*


Choosing thankfulness

Second Corinthians 10:5 talks about "...bringing in to captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"; and Philippians 4:8 says, 
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things".  
What we allow our minds to dwell on does very much effect how we are feeling. This has become an almost daily admonition to our children at our house,
We need to choose our thoughts carefully, for this effects how we feel, which effects how we act.  
We should never allow our feelings to be "in charge"; feelings are fickle.  Feelings are real, but they're not reliable; our mind should be "in charge" in helping us make decisions.  We should consider our feelings - but not do things or not do things depending upon how we feel.  We need to choose to do what is right no matter how we feel about it.  If you like, you can read more about why Choosing Thankfulness is valuable and how to go about doing it.


Blessings on your efforts,

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