by Cindy Rushton
Ed Note: You can grab a ticket to The Ultimate Homeschool Expo Here.
Tired? Weary? Need some fresh ideas for taking care of mom? Feeling that push and pull on you as you balance all of the many demands in your life? Are you great about taking care of others, yet not quite so good about taking care of YOU? Has it been a long, long time since you have done the little things to just fill your cup back up? How about a few fresh ideas for filling your cup and ministering to your heart! I promise that these will be easy for you to do! Here goes:
--> Grab Your iPod and go for a long, long walk! I LOVE my iPod. I have it filled with great Praise and Worship music, teachings and workshops, podcasts, tutorials, etc. My iPod has become my “pocket pal” when I work on my chores, take care of business duties, or even get out for my walk. Talk about my best investment of 2006!
--> Laugh! Just sit there right now...laugh! Start small...just a little giggle! Then...laugh about laughing! Roll on the floor laughing! Feel better?
--> Begin a new Bible Study. Either find a Bible Study guide...or dig out Words to study on your own! For Word Studies, I LOVE my Strong’s Concordance. It helps to find all of the references of a certain word of interest. I also love my Vine’s Dictionary. I use it to look up the meanings of the words AND it also has other references for uses in Scripture. Another great help for Word Studies is my good old faithful Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. I LOVE it as a reference to deepen the studies. Usually it helps me to also find OTHER great studies to dig into also! Dig into the Word! It will feed your heart and soul during this tough time!
--> Meet a friend at the park and let the kids play while you visit.
--> Go for a drive around the city—look at the lights! Look at flowers. Look at the seasonal changes.
--> Look at photo albums. Remember the silly stories!
--> Watch the sunrise! Or, not an early bird? Watch the sunset!
--> Collect jokes and funnies! Barb Johnson...Chonda Pierce...Becky Freeman are just a few of my PERSONAL favorites! Get one of their books or videos. Then, snag some mom-time to just kick back and enjoy!
--> Chocolate! Chocolate Candy...Chocolate Bars...Chocolate Shakes...Chocolate Latte’s...CHOCOLATE! REALLY! Chocolate helps to release endorphins in the brain—plus! It tastes great to boot! So, why not grab a bit for mom-time!
--> Watch an old movie! Curl up under a great big quilt—even if you have to turn the air down COLD! Don’t forget to turn down the lights and turn off the phone!
--> Look at your old school albums! Your HAIR! Ha! Enough said.
--> Got a grassy hill nearby? Go to the top and just roll down it! Like a child! (Snowy? Get a sled! And SLIDE!)
--> Take the kids to the park—just WATCH them! They are adorable!
--> Begin a “Quote Book.” Collect quotes that encourage you to keep on, keeping on! Keep them in a special journal dedicated only to keeping your special quotes.
--> Memorize your favorite Psalm. Try out Psalm 91...or Psalm 61...or Psalm 35...or Psalm 37...Oh! Enjoy!
--> Begin a Tea Ministry. Doing for others ALWAYS lifts even the heaviest spirit. Get a tea basket to keep your goodies in...visit a shut-in...bless them. Then! Watch the blessing boomerang! You won’t be able to leave without a blessing.
--> Take the kids to a candy store—sample the Jelly Bellies...or Sweet Tarts...or Sour Gummy Worms.
--> Fly a kite!
--> Take a ride in the country. Turn up your praise music...roll the windows down...sing to the top of your lungs!
--> Watch a funny video! Elisabeth and I LOVE to watch old movies like If a Man Answers. It is one of our “chick flicks” that we always watch together. We love it! SO FUNNY! Chonda Pierce is another one of my picks. She is just totally hilarious. My children LOVE old comedy shows like I Love Lucy or The Three Stooges. Oh, you may want to watch anything! Just find something that will make you laugh hard!
--> Scrapbook! Pick photos that you MUST tell the story behind! Kick up your favorite music...spread out your goodies...and Scrap till you drop!
--> Read a biography of a GIANT in the faith! My favorites are Corrie ten Boom...Hudson Taylor...George Mueller...Amy Carmichael...Jim and Elisabeth Elliott...etc!
--> Get today’s newspaper and read the comics!
--> Get a yo-yo! PLAY!
--> Make Chocolate Chip Cookies with the kids! On a diet? Take them to someone who blesses you! Include a note of thanks and encouragement for all they do to bless you!
--> Go out and sit on your boat—watch the stars! (Oh, watch the sunset or sunrise, if you can too!)
--> Dig into the Bible and study what God says about trials...suffering...faith...death...depression...oppression...warfare...battle…
--> Read a new book! Normally ready non-fiction/how-to’s? Get a fiction book for a change! Normally read fiction? Get a humorous book! Renew your weary heart and mind!
--> Take a break and go for a long ride on a motorcycle! Don’t forget your headset and praise music!
--> Take a hike! Really! Find a nice nature trail OR go for the tough stuff!!
--> Go to the mall with your teenager! ENJOY!
--> Buy a Mp3 Player and some great praise music—turn it up! I LOVE my iPod! I have my iPod loaded with all of my favorite CDs. My favorites are Michael W. Smith’s Worship CD’s AND Hillsong’s Praise and Worship! The moment you enter into worship, you will enter into the very presence of God—so, turn it up and devour the presence of our precious Lord!
--> Pull out that old sewing machine and make some of those goodies that you have been wanting—new purse/tote...outfit...home decorations...doll clothes...etc!
--> Buy a “whoopee” Cushion...or “Bubba” teeth... At least your family will laugh!
--> Write out the funny family stories! Reminisce! Enjoy!
--> Go skating!
--> Try an afternoon of “Laser-Tag” with your teens! Get um!
--> Make Homemade Bread—KNEAD yourself!
--> Plan a regular Mommy Getaway. This is not an extra! It is essential! I plan getaways for different purposes: to just get alone with God to hear Him, to plan, to work on my homeschool and business projects, to just fill my cup back up. Decide what will fill you up. What do you need right now? Decide what will help meet that need. Gather your goodies: Bible, journal, iPod, camera (I love taking pictures of little treasures along the way), your planner, your computer/Idea Notebook, etc. Pull aside and take that time to just get-away and fill your cup back up!
--> Get a pet! My bird, Harley, has ministered to my heart MORE than I could remember! He is just SO funny! HE had the idea to “boogie” for Jesus! I had not danced for years! AND it is decent! Elisabeth’s new puppy, Pooh, is a TOTAL delight! I say all the time that she is JOY in fur! She has become my little buddy. She loves to sit with me while I work and follow me around while I am doing my chores. She keeps me in stitches. Struggling? Get a pet just for YOU...see that puppy in the window??
--> Take the day to go for a flight! Look at the whole world from a different perspective!
--> Dance! Turn up your favorite music and dance! Dance your heaviness away! Dance till you laugh! Dance in worship to the Lord! Jump! Lift your hands in praise and worship!
--> Clean out your house (only if this is NOT your struggle! Ha!). Attack those closets...cabinets...dusty bookshelves...paper piles!
--> Go out for a cup of coffee...tea...or a good old Coca-Cola! Meet your sweetheart or a mommy pal! Or...take your Bible and make it a special time with the Lord!
--> Find some silly-putty or slime—PLAY!
--> Get up earlier (or take regular breaks throughout the day!) for your quiet time! You may feel SO weak that you can barely concentrate—if so, just turn on praise music and lift up your arms in praise and adoration. Watch what happens! Make a list of your heartaches—lift them to the Father (then, hide them in your Prayer Journal—later they will be a praise record!). Dig into the Word for comfort...perspective...and hope for tomorrow! Really tough days? Well, when the Israelites had very HOT days, they had to gather MORE manna—in the heat of your battles and toughest trials gather a surplus! It will help you survive your struggle.
--> Make a quilt. You can EVEN cheat by making it on the sewing machine! ENJOY!
--> Take an afternoon to go to the movies. Get a big bucket of popcorn...a super-HUGE Coke...sour Gummy Worms (unless you are due a BIG DOSE OF CHOCOLATE!). Take your sweetheart...or a friend if you want to share! Pick a movie that will make you laugh like crazy...OR CRY your eyes out! ENJOY!
--> Ride three-wheelers! Get MUDDY!
--> Treat yourself to a leisurely afternoon (or a bunch of afternoons!) at the pool...park...or creek.
--> Try your hand at BOWLING. Take some friends!
--> Take time for tea—each day.
--> Exercise. Swim...walk...jog...hike...go skating...aerobics. Relieves stress AND boosts your health to boot.
Learn a new hobby! What have you been putting off that you have ALWAYS wanted to know? Pottery? Quilting? Flight Training? Smocking? Scrapbooking? Jewelry Making? Sewing? Crochet? Horse-back riding? Go for it! Now is the PERFECT time.
--> Treat yourself to a nice looooonnnnnngggg Bubble Bath! Don’t forget to set up your favorite music to play during your Bubble Bath. Also...be sure to fix a nice cup of tea (or a Latte!) or a nice big Coke that will last till the water gets cold! ENJOY!
--> Go to the park and just swing—HIGH!
Go get an ice-cream cone—with a double dip!
--> Do a “Promise” hunt in Scripture. Keep in a “Promise Notebook” of your very own! KNOW that they are yours.
--> Snuggle up for the afternoon to read a great book!
Got some fresh ideas? Don’t let this limit you! Let your brain GO! Find some things that will fill you back up and take care of you all along the way.
This is not an extra. This is an essential. Carve out time on your calendar today to just take care of mom!
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Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, the very first online homeschool convention.
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