Summer Routines and Rhythms Challenge

Once upon a time, I decided that we were going to “go easy” on all of our routines and rhythms. I thought that maybe if I did things a little more “carefree” they would just fall into place all on their own. After all, we’d been doing these rhythms and routines for years.

The result of my “carefree” little to no routine living was this:

  • Constant nagging. Did you practice for piano lessons? Did you do your reading? Have you had breakfast? Why are their shoes and backpacks at the door?
  • Chores and routines out the window. Nothing that needed to be done was getting done. So I spent a lot of energy and time saying things like this: Who is doing dishes? Why haven’t you done them yet? Why is your bed still not made? It’s 6 p.m. in the evening.
  • Faith routines. It was pretty much non-existent.
  • Sibling rivalry. A lack of structure creates lots of opportunities for you to become a referee of all their silly arguments and fights.
  • Irritated parents. There is nothing more frustrating to a parent than to repeat youself over and over again all day, every day. Those types of interactions between you and your child create lots of tension in the relationship which in turn also means your child is frustrated with you. It’s hard to see the good happening when all you see are messes, things that aren’t getting done, screen zombified kids who are hungry all day and are fighting over who gets to sit in the green chair.
  • Constantly frustrated children. Your constant reminders are seen by your child as nagging or criticism. Though they play a big part in these interactions they don’t see it from that perspective they just hear an angry, irritated parent telling them they didn’t do something right.

Whew! Just writing that made me cringe at the thought of all that energy and time wasted. Instead of connecting with your children your constantly correcting them all summer long. Now that sounds fun! (insert sarcastic voice)

So through all of that, I was reminded of what I tell my clients all the time–When you aim at nothing you get nothing.

I learned the hard way that when we have some healthy flexible structure in place it gives us the freedom to have fun, our children know what to do without being told every 10 minutes what needs to be done and they aren’t in constant “fight-out-of-sheer-boredom” mode.

Summer Routines & Rhythms Challenge

So I want to help you enjoy your summer by teaching a few tips and tricks to create a flexible but structured summer.

Join me in our Summer Routines & Rhythms Challenge! I will teach you how to create a structure that fits YOUR family and can be tailored to the stage of life your family is in. I will show you how to bring a family team mentality into your home and your children will sense they have something valuable to offer.

I coach parents on how to bring connection and faith in the home. I want to help you be intentional in your home this summer! The structure actually brings flexibility and margin. Everything below is customizable for your family. In my workshops I teach you:

Who needs this?

  • If you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
  • You feel like you’re doing it alone and doing it all.
  • Living in stress mode constantly.
  • Are you tired of chaotic summers?
  • If you have children from 3-16 years olds?

So are you ready for more peace, connection, and time for you to enjoy life and your family this summer?

Click on the button below to purchase your Summer Rhythms & Routines Challenge. (Once you’ll pay you’ll get an email sent with instructions on how to get started.)

Welcome, If you’re here because you watched the Mom Hacks Summer Survival Workshop. You can pick up the Challenge by clicking on the button above!

While you think about it here’s the free “When & Then” printable I promised you! Just click HERE and you’ll get the link for all of our FREE printables as a subscriber.

Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Approval

In my parenting classes, one of the things that I often teach parents is the difference between “acceptance” and “approval”. Parents sometimes equate acceptance with approval as they come across differences or unwanted behavior in their children.

As I was reading Psalms 1 this morning. I was reminded of how important it is to process the distinction between acceptance and approval in all aspects of life, not only in parenting.

The author of Messy Grace, Caleb Kaltenbach says it so perfectly,

Love is not based on agreement, love is based on acceptance.”

Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Approval

So here are some reminders for you and me as we wrestle with the tension of grace and truth.

I can accept you as my friend without aligning myself with your political party.

I can accept you as my family member without agreeing with your vaccination choices.

I can accept you as an image-bearer of God without agreeing with your immigration status.

I can accept you as my neighbor without agreeing with your religious stance.

I can accept you as a co-worker or friend without imitating your lifestyle.

We see God’s love beautifully displayed in the life of Jesus as He taught God’s truth and crossed paths with a variety of people. He met, sought out, and loved the prostitute, the demon-possessed, the cast-out, the tax-collector, the adulterer, the thief, the legalist, the poor, and the uneducated… I just love how He sought out Zaccheus and then dined with him.

He accepts us as His creation; as image-bearers of God.

Yet in the process, He didn’t imitate or approve those things that went against His Father. He stood firmly like a tree planted near the water on God’s truth and spoke in grace and truth.

Dare I say we are commanded to love and accept others. We are called to acceptance.

The problem is that sometimes we tie so much of what we think to our identity and anyone who disagrees is someone who rejects you. Or we go to the other extreme and think that in order for others to see that we accept them we have to imitate and align ourselves with their beliefs. But we don’t!

“Love is not based on agreement, love is based on acceptance.”

My One Summer Survival Hack for Moms

Are you wondering what you’re going to do with your kiddos all summer? Do you feel overwhelmed with all that you have to do and want to do? Well, I have this one summer survival hack that will not only help you this summer but all year round.

One of the best ways to keep stress low and joy high in your heart and home this summer is by creating structure and consistency through rhythms and routines.

I know the word “structure” can sound scary but it doesn’t have to be. Structure actually helps create space for flexibility and margin in your life. It can be flexible, fun, and intentional.

Routines actually help with decision fatigue and the constant pushback you get from your kids over the day-to-day things. Once it becomes a routine your children will know this is what’s expected of them.

My One Summer Survival Hack for Moms

So I want to share a mom hack that will help you create some rhythms & routines this summer.

It’s called “When and Then” phrase and it’s used by parenting professionals all over the world. I discovered this when my kids were toddlers and to this day we still use it. It’s actually quite simple but the magic happens when you are consistent.

You can use it this phrase in two ways.

First I want to show you how to get the most out of it for the summer.

  1. So let’s break up your day into 2 parts: morning and afternoon.
  2. Then write down everything you want your kids to do in each of those blocks.
  3. Now comes the “When and Then”. Let’s say for your morning block the things you would like accomplished is: get dressed, clean room, chores, and connecting with God.
    So what you’ll say is, “When you do these 4 things by 10:30 THEN you can get on your screen for 30 minutes at 10:30.
    Maybe in the afternoon, your child wants to have a friend over so you can say “If you do ____ by 2 p.m. THEN your friend can come over at 2:30.”
  4. You’ll want your “THEN” to be something that motivates them and is something they can enjoy right away when they complete the task. It shouldn’t be something they will get on another day but something they’ll do or get after their “WHEN” is completed. Also, if you make the “THEN” to have a friend over and they really don’t enjoy that well it’s not going to motivate them. So figure out what motivates your child.

The only way this “When and Then” phrase will work its magic is if you stay consistent. If you tell your child that they have to do these 4 things by 10:30 and they don’t do it but you still let them have screen time then they’ll only see it as a threat. And we don’t do threats.

The second way you can use the “When and Then” phrase is for random things throughout your day but you don’t want to overuse it or it will lose its magic. You can find other things that will motivate your children like a “ticket system”. I’ll share more about these two things and more in my “Summer Survival Hacks for Moms” workshop. Check it out below!

Summer Rhythms & Routines Challenge

So I want to help you enjoy your summer by teaching a few tips and tricks to create a flexible but structured summer.

Join me in our Summer Routines & Rhythms Challenge! I will teach you how to create a structure that fits YOUR family and can be tailored to the stage of life your family is in. I will show you how to bring a family team mentality into your home and your children will sense they have something valuable to offer.

I coach parents on how to bring connection and faith in the home. I want to help you be intentional in your home this summer!

The non-evasive structure I share with you will actually bring flexibility and margin. Everything below is customizable for your family. In my workshops I will teach you:

Who needs this?

  • If you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do.
  • You feel like you’re doing it alone and doing it all.
  • Living in stress mode constantly.
  • Are you tired of chaotic summers?
  • If you have children from 3-16 years olds?

So are you ready for more peace, connection, and time for you to enjoy life and your family?

Join our Summer Routines & Rhythms Challenge!

What Snuggling With My Son Has Taught Me About God

What God has taught me through snuggling.

So first I have to confess that I’m not a big snuggler. I will snuggle with my kids and husband but I’m not the person who will come up next to you on the couch and want to snuggle.

But as a mom snuggling is required. So I’ve come to love it.

One of the things all 3 of my boys needed when they were babies and toddlers was morning snuggle time with us before they got going in their day. One child would be completely frazzled if he didn’t get snuggle time with us in the morning before we got going.

We don’t say much at that time we just quietly snuggle. To this day they still all come into my room in the morning and they “snuggle” with me in their own way. I’m rather fond of those briefs moments of stillness I get in the morning to delight in them before the rush of the day hits us or they remember they are teens with attitudes.

As I was pondering this morning routine that I’ve come to love, I wondered if that’s how God feels about us–His children. Does He bask in having me in His arms as I do of my children?

He delights in simply being with us. No fancy words or exuberant sacrifices needed. He simply wants us to draw close to Him and bask in His love.
Maybe that’s what God means by “be still” in Psalms.

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalms 46:10

So I’ve been practicing enjoying His presence. With no need or pressure for eloquent words or requests. I imagine myself like a child in sheer delight to simply be in His arms and presence.

Reminding myself that He also delights in me.

Usually, I do this by sitting quietly and just thinking about being in His arms, and in His presence. I like to do this in the morning before I get up before bed shortly after my children have come in to “snuggle” with me. Sometimes it’s when I’m exercising on my stationary bike or out for a walk. I like to sit out in my yard and no one is around. I close my eyes and tell Him how happy I am to be here in His presence. Then I let His warmth fill me up without a word. When my mind is having trouble being quiet I whisper breath prayers. Something like, “He delights in me (take a deep breath in) and I delight in Him (take a deep breath out). I repeat that over and over again to get my mind to quiet itself.

What do you think “still” and “know” mean in that verse?

10+ Christian Books & Bible Studies Written by Hispanics

I realized after writing my bible study for women that many non-Latino and maybe even Hispanic people have never a Bible study or Christian book written by a Latin American.

So I’m sharing with you a list of some Christian books written by Latin Americans so you can expand your already diversified home or church library to include the voices from people of color.

10+ Christian Books & Bible Studies Written by Hispanics

The Truest Thing About You by David Lomas – There are many true things about you—true things you use to build an identity. Parent. Introvert. Victim. Student. Extrovert. Entrepreneur. Single. These truths can identify you, your successes and failures, your expectations and disappointments, your secret dreams, and hidden shames. But what if your true identity isn’t found in any of these smaller truths, but in the grand truth of who God says you are? 

Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith... by Bianca Juarez Olthoff – is the reminder that God isn’t waiting until you have more resources or a spouse or a job so he can use you. He’s ready to use you now.

Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes A Day by Mari Hernandez-Tuten Blossom into womanhood 5 minutes a day. This Bible study offers short lessons on Proverbs 31, a joyful poem describing the characteristics of a godly woman. Unlock the guidance in its verses, exploring who you are as a daughter of the King—and how to better serve Him in your family and community.

Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokeness by Marlena Graves – Interweaving biblical insights and personal narratives, this eloquently written book shows how God often uses suffering and desert experiences to form us into Christ’s image. Marlena Graves shares her experiences of growing up poor in a house plagued by mental illness as a means to explore the forces God uses to shape us into beautiful people in the midst of brokenness.

Rich in Love: When God Rescues Messy People by Irene Garcia Over the past forty-five years, the Garcias have birthed, fostered, or adopted thirty-two children. Their story holds difficult endings as well as promising new beginnings. Above all, their story reminds us of what can happen when ordinary people submit to God’s call.

Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence by Natalia Kohn Rivera, Noemi Vega Quiñones, Kristy Garza Robinson God calls Latinas to lives of influence. He created his Latina daughters to partner with him, live into the incredible plans he has for each of us, and walk in his grace and strength to help change this world. But many of us have heard cultural messages that make us doubt our adequacy. We have not seen many Latina women in positions of leadership, and we need more mentors and role models. 

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong- by Karen Gonzalez – Here is a riveting story of seeking safety in another land. Here is a gripping journey of loss, alienation, and belonging. In The God Who Sees, immigration advocate Karen Gonzalez recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in Los Angeles and the suburbs of south Florida. In the midst of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and the tremendous pressure to assimilate, Gonzalez encounters Christ through a campus ministry program and begins to follow him.

No Longer Strangers: Transforming Evangelism with Immigrant Communities: Various Authors including Sandra Van Opstal (Latina author) – In No Longer Strangers, diverse voices lay out a vision for healthier evangelism that can honor the most vulnerable—many of whom have lived through trauma, oppression, persecution, and the effects of colonialism—while foregrounding the message of the gospel. 

The Mestizo Augustine by Justo Gonzalez Cuban American historian and theologian Justo González looks at the life and legacy of Augustine from the perspective of his own Latino heritage and finds in the bishop of Hippo a remarkable resource for the church today. The mestizo Augustine can serve as a lens by which to see afresh not only the history of Christianity but also our own culturally diverse world.

Backwards Calling: A Calling to Obedience by Liz Ann Rodriguez – What do you do when God says, “Go Back.” In a world that is ever forward-moving, what does it look like to pause and go back? Join Liz Ann Rodriguez on this four-session Bible Study, where she looks at biblical accounts of men and women being asked to go back to their old surroundings after an encounter with God.

Changed by Faith: Dare to Trust God with Your Broken Pieces by Luis Palau – In Changed by Faith, he offers a gritty, up-close look at the broken world around us, the true redemptive power of the Gospel―and what it means for your life today. Through dramatic personal stories and solid Scriptural perspective, Luis looks at the practical changes that come when you begin to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and shows how God can take the ashes of your life and transform them into something beautiful.