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TopCorner2.WeeklyInspiration

Image by Chrstopher, Courtesy of Flickr

A mom’s life is often compared to juggling.  We juggle responsibilities related to our families, employment, church, community involvement, self care . . . the list goes on.  As we focus on The Power of Priorities, we’ll discuss how we choose which balls to juggle–and which balls to not juggle.

We’ll talk about putting first things first, knowing there are times and seasons for different priorities, and finding practical ways to assess what’s really important in our lives.  Our choices reflect our realities, and we invite you to join us as we do our absolute best to choose wisely. 

Too Busy?

Too Busy?

Why are we so busy? What good does it do? We used to rush from school and work and soccer practice to piano practice to the drive-through again for dinner to homework to collapse into bed and do the same thing the next day. I decided something had to change.
Picture Story:  Ideal vs. Real

Picture Story: Ideal vs. Real

Are we so focused on creating the perfect memory to share with our children that we miss the special daily moments? Author Bethany Struthers shares how our best mothering memories will be created from real life as we exercise some patience and shift our priorities.
The "Grandma" Version of Yourself

The “Grandma” Version of Yourself

When life gets overwhelming, sometimes it is necessary to gain a new perspective. The “grandma version” of ourselves is wise and witty and helps us to achieve the balance we need to survive the years until we do indeed become grandparents.
My Home Is A Workshop

My Home Is A Workshop

In this photo-filled post, Amanda Hamilton Roos transports us from Einstein’s desk to the workshop of our own homes.
Katrina Kenison - "Magical Journey": Episode 17

Katrina Kenison – “Magical Journey”: Episode 17

This podcast is for every mother who wants to slow down, see the value in her work, and experience true contentment (at EVERY stage of motherhood).
It's Not the Playdoh I Love

It’s Not the Playdoh I Love

The other day, my three-year-old, Spencer, asked if we could get out the Playdoh. In my mind, I was screaming, "NO! It will end up all over the kitchen. As I was about to verbalize these feelings, however, I thought a little deeper.
Barbara Walters' One Regret

Barbara Walters’ One Regret

Barbara Walters expressing regret over not having a bigger family has Allyson thinking: It might be a worthwhile exercise to take a few minutes while thinking about our New Year's Resolutions and ask ourselves, “What do I want more than anything else?”
Do Children Make Us Happy?

Do Children Make Us Happy?

A recent study explored whether or not children make us happy. What do you think? And is "happiness" the most important thing?
I Dressed Myself

I Dressed Myself

I can’t help but wonder what I am communicating when my family leaves the house. You see, my children dress themselves. Partly because that is one less thing I have to do for them, but mostly because they insist upon it. I have chosen not to fight that battle.
Book Summary: Last Child in the Woods

Book Summary: Last Child in the Woods

More than anything, this book motivated me to make time in nature a priority for my family. I hope I can instill in my children an appreciation for this beautiful earth and, by doing so, help them discover who they really are.
Six Ways to Never Take Motherhood for Granted

Six Ways to Never Take Motherhood for Granted

I definitely don't have all the answers. But I have been thinking hard about what I can do to live my life more fully. I think there are some small measures we can take every day to make sure we are not taking the important things in life for granted.
Picture Story:  Rose Petals

Picture Story: Rose Petals

Each of our children’s seasons come with challenges. We are often looking forward to the next phase of life and milestones reached. How do we as mothers step back and savor the quiet moments? Author Kristi Linton reminds us to create special memories with our children before they are gone.
Back to School and Back to Basics

Back to School and Back to Basics

It’s back to school, and back to that crazy schedule. Power of Moms’ author Tasha Bradshaw shares great tips on how she keeps her sanity and finds balance and fulfillment by grounding herself to the basics.
Time for Love

Time for Love

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” So says Albert Einstein, but daily life as a mother of small children sure seems to contradict this. It feels exactly like all the events in the universe are happening right in your living room...
A que te dedicas?

A que te dedicas?

When we think of motherhood as a job, as something we “do,” we begin to limit it. I’m not “doing” things all the time or “creating” children. I’m dedicating myself to creating a family, of which I am a part.
The Baseboard Dilemma

The Baseboard Dilemma

Does a never-ending to-do list nag on your mind? Do you feel guilt, or even agitation, when voices call you away from your tasks? Sometimes it’s in the battle of “The Baseboard Dilemma” we find the parenting truths we are looking for.
Introduction to The Power of Priorities

Introduction to The Power of Priorities

During the month of August, our top priority will be helping mothers figure out their top priorities.
3 Tips for Balancing the Hats in Life

3 Tips for Balancing the Hats in Life

My hats include my roles as a writer, mother, business owner, wife, volunteer, homemaker, and teacher. Some days, I feel like I wear all my hats with ease. Most days, I feel like I am scrambling to get everything done. These three practical solutions have helped me maintain some balance in my life.
Should We Prioritize Excellence?

Should We Prioritize Excellence?

A few months ago, I took my children to an amazing concert and watched children perform amazing feats with their instruments. It was breathtaking to see these small people execute extremely difficult music. Then I wondered, do I have a gifted musician in my family?
Popcorn Days

Popcorn Days

Have you ever had one of those days when the house is a mess, the kids are sick, and a friend comes over unexpectedly to witness the chaos? Author Jennifer Brimhall shares how she has learned to keep perspective and be gentle with herself on those popcorn days.
Revival Recital

Revival Recital

Throughout my life, I worked hard to develop my talents in dancing, singing, and theater. After I became a mom, however, my hours of practicing were replaced with laundry, nursing, kindergarten, and driving my children to their own lessons. How could I rediscover my talents---and myself in the process?
"Murder your Darlings": Applying Writing Advice to Motherhood

“Murder your Darlings”: Applying Writing Advice to Motherhood

Allyson Reynolds is talking metaphorically here. The phrase comes from a professor of English--the idea is to write objectively and avoid getting so lost in love with your favorite words, phrases, or ideas that you can’t “murder” them for the sake of creating something more succinctly wonderful. Now Allyson's applying it to motherhood (again, metaphorically)....
How Can a Busy Mom Stay Focused? - Episode 53

How Can a Busy Mom Stay Focused? – Episode 53

Ever feel like you move from one task to the next, but never actually get the most important things done? We've been there, too. Join our conversation on how to reverse this . . . even as a busy mother.
Picture Story: The Touch of a Tiny Hand

Picture Story: The Touch of a Tiny Hand

During one of Alex’s first feedings of the day, he suddenly stopped eating and started looking around the room. I felt very frustrated, thinking, “Great! Now it will take him longer to eat, which means he will nap later, which means...” and there I went, spiraling downward in thoughts of how this small delay was...
The Moment That Changed My Life & It Can Change Yours

The Moment That Changed My Life & It Can Change Yours

Is your life out of sync with your priorities? I guarantee that if you take action to make what matters most to you central to how you manage your life, the results will change your life for the better and you’ll be stronger and happier for it.
What NOT To Do this Holiday Season

What NOT To Do this Holiday Season

Allyson offers great ideas to help you avoid over-scheduling, overeating, and overspending this holiday season.
My Personal American Idol

My Personal American Idol

My little boy loves to sing, but sometimes I am not the best audience. This experience helped me to understand what a lucky mom I am!
What Pulls Me Apart Holds Me Together

What Pulls Me Apart Holds Me Together

Many of us struggle with the many demands of work and motherhood. How do we keep it all together? How do we figure out what is the most important thing at the moment? Join author Angie Mizzell as she describes her experience in how sometimes our priorities can make themselves very clear.
The Work of Motherhood

The Work of Motherhood

When my first child was about six months old, I realized that every day I set him down to play while I ran around to get things done. One of my repeated phrases was, “Okay, I’m just going to do (a list of six things), and then I’ll play with you.”
Before They Fly

Before They Fly

Is one of your children about to start their senior year? Are they preparing to fly the coop to discover a new world? It is times like these that we wonder if we, as mothers, have done all we can to help them prepare. Have we cherished precious family time together? Join author Julia Jacobsen...
Welcome to Holland

Welcome to Holland

Lately I have been thinking a lot about raising a child with a disability. Recently I heard that an old college friend had a baby that was born with some severe disabilities, and I have really been pondering about it and just thought I'd share my take on this.
Book Summary: Heaven Is Here

Book Summary: Heaven Is Here

Stephanie Nielson, creator of NieNieDialogues.com, has written an inspiring book that will remind you just how important family is.
Sifting Priorities

Sifting Priorities

Nine years ago I found myself in the intensive care unit of our local hospital holding my very sick seven-month-old baby boy. We had checked into the emergency room four days earlier when I realized my baby was having difficulty breathing.
Book Summary: The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Book Summary: The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who, drawing on her experiences with patients' mothers and other women in her life, has identified what makes happy mothers tick.
Workouts that Work!

Workouts that Work!

Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to fit a workout into your mothering schedule? Does the task of loading up the kids for a trip to the gym fill daunting? Seth Bigelow, a husband and father, shares some workouts that work for the whole family!
This Verse of My Song

This Verse of My Song

Four years ago, this was me. I was picking up the keys to my new car I had earned through my at-home business. I LOVED my work! Then I heard a wise woman say, “Time spent in one area is time taken away from another.” It’s a pretty simple phrase, then I realized...
Are You Getting What YOU Need Out Of Motherhood?

Are You Getting What YOU Need Out Of Motherhood?

So while there are 1000's of hours of Power of Moms work that needs to be done and countless other timely projects that are important to me and to others, I'm protecting my precious time with my precious kids and training my brain to focus on the here and now.
When Me Time Doesn't Work

When Me Time Doesn’t Work

I know, I know--I'm supposed to take some "me time." So why do I hate doing it?
Book Summary: When Motherhood Feels too Hard

Book Summary: When Motherhood Feels too Hard

Filled with uplifting messages for each day of the month, When Motherhood Feels Too Hard is a powerful reminder of the divine role of mothers and the divine help they are entitled to. Through personal experiences, poems, scriptures and quotes, author Kelly Crawford offers mothers a spiritual lifeline for when it “feels too hard.”
Perspectives on Balance- Episode 38

Perspectives on Balance- Episode 38

What does balance really mean? In this one-hour podcast, Saren Loosli and Chrysula Winegar discuss how examining your priorities will help you find balance.
Could You Be the Parent of an Olympian?

Could You Be the Parent of an Olympian?

As the families of the world gather around their TVs to watch Olympic athletes perform unbelievable feats of strength, speed, and agility, I wonder how many mothers out there are thinking to themselves: Could my child be an Olympian?
Doing It All

Doing It All

I’m always impressed by the women around me who take the time to care for their families and others around them; women who seem to always be thinking of others and providing for them; women with full, busy lives, helping to lift up hands that hang down. Somehow, these are the same women who worry...
Seven Questions for Clarifying Our Top Priorities

Seven Questions for Clarifying Our Top Priorities

Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness of doing "good things" that I forget to focus on what's most important. These seven questions can help any mom to identify and live according to what she wants most out of life--PDF download included!
I Choose Joy

I Choose Joy

Can joy really be found in life? See what this mother and teacher finds as she grapples with her pursuit of joy.
Go Fly a Kite

Go Fly a Kite

In my early years of motherhood when I still vainly thought perfection was within reach, I was drawn to the life of Mr. Banks. You know, the British banker-father in the movie “Mary Poppins” who insists on running his home with precision.
Prioritizing: Having It All, Just Not All At Once

Prioritizing: Having It All, Just Not All At Once

It’s an amazing thing to be a mother in the 21st century. We really can “have it all” if we so choose: a family, a career, and the enjoyment of personal pursuits. But if we aren’t careful, we may end up more frazzled than fulfilled.
A Three-Minute Daily Balance Solution

A Three-Minute Daily Balance Solution

It's important to accept that perfect, ongoing balance is just not going to be possible for most of us. And that's OK. But it's also important to find a simple system for ensuring that we do some things we really care about every day.
Have You Ever Put the House Before the Children?

Have You Ever Put the House Before the Children?

Every day requires constant decision-making . . . clean up the mess or enjoy the children? Here are three guiding principles that continually set me straight.
Say Yes

Say Yes

I've realized that sometimes I say no without even thinking I could say yes. So the past few months, I’ve been trying say yes more – even though Children + Yes = More Mess.
What a Hands-Free Summer Looks Like

What a Hands-Free Summer Looks Like

Perhaps you've seen it elsewhere, but if not, here's Rachel Stafford's amazing essay on keeping our priorities straight during the summer...
Solutions to Moms' Body Issues - Episode 36

Solutions to Moms’ Body Issues – Episode 36

Ever wondered how to appreciate your body (in spite of all its "imperfections"), while also making time to give yourself the nutrition and exercise you need? You'll love this podcast with Dawn Wessman and April Perry.
Spiritual Sundays: Seasons

Spiritual Sundays: Seasons

Everywhere I turn in our home there are signs that a new season has arrived. While life is filled with many seasons, motherhood brings with it, its own seasons—each offering different experiences, challenges, and certainly changes.
Choosing Extracurricular Activities - Episode 15

Choosing Extracurricular Activities – Episode 15

Extracurricular Activities are fun and add dimension to a child's life. These activities are a great way to discover and develop talents; but if you aren't careful- they can take over!
Keeping Our Focus (Part 3: With Our Spouses) - Episode 14

Keeping Our Focus (Part 3: With Our Spouses) – Episode 14

Finding time with your spouse is not a simple feat. And once you find that time, how do we focus our time with our spouses?
Internet: Harmful or Helpful?

Internet: Harmful or Helpful?

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty strong love/hate relationship with the internet. On the one hand, I love that I can find whatever I’m looking for in cyberspace, as well as take caring of business. But as nifty as the internet is, it’s vastness can create some unique problems.
Keeping Our Focus (Part 1: With Our Children) - Episode 12

Keeping Our Focus (Part 1: With Our Children) – Episode 12

Do you want to be sure that the time you spend with your children is quality time? Whatever the ages and stages of our children, our time together matters.
Stop and Smell the Crayons

Stop and Smell the Crayons

My husband offered to take my son with him to run errands the other day and I thought, “Yes! I can finally get to those piles in my bedroom that are driving me crazy.” My next thought was, “Hmm…I should probably use this time for some one-on-one with my daughter. She’s been extra whiny and...
Going on a Bear Hunt

Going on a Bear Hunt

Deep down I know I am mentally "checking out" and creating the very stress I want to avoid. I found some inspiration in the children's book “Going on a Bear Hunt”. The idea is that in order to complete an adventure, we "can't go over it, can't go under it...gotta go through it!"
Dressing the Part

Dressing the Part

As a work-at-home mom I don’t venture out much during the day. With five young children, my husband and I rarely go out either because the logistics are far too complicated. (None of our children are old enough to babysit, and asking a friend to take five children for the evening feels like...
The Monkey Bread Challenge

The Monkey Bread Challenge

The one key to becoming my best Mom-self was to slow my frenetic pace, stop doing so many things for my kids and just BE with my kids. I got caught up in DOING so much that I lost track of who my kids were.
Spiritual Sundays: Mommy Weight

Spiritual Sundays: Mommy Weight

I was told practically from birth about the sacrifices a mother makes....blah blah blah.... back to me me me me me. I remember as a young woman I was told that I wouldn't really understand this concept of motherly sacrifice until I became a mom myself......blah blah blah.....back to me me me me me. Then,...
Book Summary: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Book Summary: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

I was a new mother and had a baby that did not sleep very well. I lived in a fog and I was desperate for sleep. A friend saw the bags under my eyes and recommended this book, and it truly changed my perspective on the importance of sleep.
The Beauty Of Doing What Can Only Be Done Now

The Beauty Of Doing What Can Only Be Done Now

Mine is one of the most common stories ever told: I was thrilled to have a baby--then surprised by how hard it was to be a mother.
The 15-Minute Makeover

The 15-Minute Makeover

It doesn’t involve lasers, chemicals, pills, or suction, you don’t have to make an appointment with a professional, there are no unpleasant side effects, and best of all? It’s free! In fact, this makeover can be done right in the privacy of your very own home, any day of the week, whenever you need it....
Hats Off

Hats Off

Last Friday I attended a dinner for the women’s organization at my church.   I debated about whether or not to go, but thought it would be good to support the church by attending as many of the activities as I could so I went by myself and sat by some friends. The theme for the...
Self-education possible for moms?

Self-education possible for moms?

    Here is another reader question*: I am a young mom, three years out of college. My husband is pursuing a graduate degree, and I am home with our baby. While I am happy that I get to stay home with my son, I often envy my husband, being able to increase his intellect...
Sweating the Big Stuff

Sweating the Big Stuff

I’m coming up on a one year anniversary. One year since I made a HUGE leap of faith and moved to a new state.  The move came on the heels of a life-changing event:  divorce. Looking back on it now, I wonder sometimes where I found the courage to do it. I also wonder if I was slightly–well–CRAZY at...
Small, But Valuable

Small, But Valuable

“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other...
Power Hour

Power Hour

Power Hour is the best time management/self control/disciplined action I’ve taken for myself since becoming a mom.  I love it because I don’t feel guilty for having to take time away from my children to get the stuff I need done.  Power Hour in our house goes as follows: After everyone (including me) has eaten...
The Priceless Spatula

The Priceless Spatula

“I just spent twenty dollars on a spatula,” I said. My polite and ever-supportive husband simply responded, “Dumb.” “But,” I continued, “The money was well worth it, because I am committing now to never again go to a party like that out of obligation.”
Choices

Choices

  Every day we are all faced with multiple choices. These choices may be small, but they do have the potential to have a large impact upon our lives. Some choices may not be that important, while others are monumental. I thought once I had made the choice to be a stay-at-home mother, the decision...
Watching With My Whole Eyes

Watching With My Whole Eyes

I was in the middle of the frantic morning rush this morning, trying to actually respond to some emails and plan out my day when my 4-year-old, Charlie came in and demanded his ukulele. I was listening to some music and he wanted to put on a little rock concert. He kept asking me to...
What Lessons Would I Learn Tonight?

What Lessons Would I Learn Tonight?

Photo by Jennie Rowen Submitted by Jennie Rowen: Last night I had a plan. It entailed getting the kids to bed early so that I could watch a movie and then go to bed too. So, at about 7:45 I started directing the kids to their rooms so I could read with them and send...
Book Summary: I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids

Book Summary: I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids

This book does a beautiful (and hilarious) job spelling out the incredibly high expectations we set for ourselves, and then it provides a "shot in the arm" to cure us all from this problem. With chapter titles such as "I Love Being a Mom, I Just Hate Doing It," and "Am I a Bad...
Big Things Are Made of Little Things

Big Things Are Made of Little Things

As I studied third world development and international relations in my undergraduate studies at Wellesley College and went on to study what education is and what more it could be with my Masters at Harvard, I figured out a whole lot of seemingly brilliant solutions to many vital issues.  I felt I was headed for...
Mommy's Quiet Time 101

Mommy’s Quiet Time 101

Would you like to have at least an hour of quiet time every single day? (Even if your children have stopped napping?) This post is FULL of ideas to get you started.
Will They Get It?

Will They Get It?

I often wondered, are the values we're teaching, like service, really sticking?
Book Summary: Rise to the Divinity Within You

Book Summary: Rise to the Divinity Within You

I love the idea of reaching your potential. This book’s theme centers around the idea of reaching your divine potential, that we are all on earth for a purpose. I love that these are talks, separate from each other, so I can read in short bursts of time, rather than all at once. ...