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motherhood

Mother's Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps9 Comments

I know that Mother's Day is coming up this weekend and it is always so touching to see Mother's Day posts from friends who pay tribute to their mothers every year. I debated putting together a post, and in the end, since I think all mothers should be celebrated all year long, I finally decided to put up this post to start off the festivities.

I know that Mother's Day is hard for some, so I wanted to keep it simple this year and just share ten pieces of advice a few of my friends sent to me! 

Best Mother's Day Advice

"When you are facing a fork in the road, can't make up your mind and both paths are good then just follow your heart. You are not going to pick the wrong one" Beth Mayberry

 

"Pray first and ask for God's help and guidance. Prayer should not be our last resort." Jacquelyn Van Sant

 

"Always wear a hat. Your baby face + skin will thank you when you're 40." Aubry Lybbert

 

"Be all you can be!" Hanha Hobson

 

"A couple weeks after my wedding I was going over the things I would’ve done differently or thought out more thoroughly. My mom stopped me, mid-sentence, and said “Would you change who you married? Cause that’s all that matters.” I lost my mom not two months later and that thought has stuck with me ever since." Caley Gonyea

 

"The best time to look for a job is when you have one." Candice

 

"One of my favorite pieces of advice from my mom (and there are many) is financial. When I first went out on my own, my mom told me to choose a dollar amount (e.g. $100, $250 or $500) and make that my "zero" in my checking account. That way, if I ever had an emergency, I would always have that buffer, that safety net." Jacquelyn Van Sant

 

"My mother was a woman of God that inspired and challenged me to pursue him as well. She leaves behind pages from her bibles with notes of biblically sound truths. Looking through her bibles, I often think she was one of the original "bible journalers" out there. I often reflect on her words of wisdom each week since she [passed away] in November 2017. I've learned many lessons from her one of which is to fully trust God instead of worrying. I'm a person that can sometimes be full of worry instead of basking in the fullness of God's peace and assurance. My mother pointed me to many scriptures to get me back on track when I would tell her all the things that troubled or stressed me. Stress does nothing for us and my mom reminded me of this all the time. She would sometimes say "Danielle, don't you know that God is up there?" I'm reminded of Romans 8:28 when I think of her encouragement, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." This Mother's Day I remember her for her strength to raise me and opening up our home to several foster children. She and my dad who is also no longer on earth had a big heart for children. God blessed me to have them as they adopted me at birth. While it's heartbreaking that they are gone, I'm thankful for the wisdom that I've gained from my mom for 30 years and my dad for 15 years. My mom's wisdom inspires me to continue to grow and teach other young women in the same way." Danielle Wallace

 

"A good [peice of advice she gave me] is wear your coat!" 5th grader

 

"The best advice my mom gave me is if somebody is fighting with you just walk away." 5th grader

 

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?


 

Women of Intention Week Five: Motherhood

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Welcome to another week (week five) of the series, Women of Intention! Maple Alps is featuring a woman who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life over the next fifteen weeks. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

#WomenOfIntention16 Women of Intention Week Five: Motherhood and Intentionality

Gina Poirier

This week's Intentional Woman:

Today, we are going to hear from Gina of Holding the Distaff

I enjoyed getting to know Gina, and hearing all about her adventures in motherhood and the passion she has for homeschooling her children and teaching them important life values and lessons. I'm certain you will enjoy getting to know her too!

Once you're done reading, be sure to not only check out her blog, Holding the Distaff, but also share your thoughts (and if you want, the post too!).

Find Gina on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


Tell us a bit about yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I'm a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom of three kids, ages 3, 5 and 6 ½. I wear many hats: managing our home, writing and editing, homeschooling and being involved in our church and community.

I'm most passionate about helping the people in my life find purpose and meaning—hence my blog's tagline, "inspiration in the everyday." There are a lot of practical ways I do this, including writing, volunteering, having people in our home, or just enjoying deep conversations over coffee.

 

How do you practice intentionality in your life as a mother?

It's funny you use the word "intentionality" because up until a few years ago I would have had no idea what that meant. But being a mother has forced me to think about the concept frequently. Am I just coasting along this parenting journey, hoping everything turns out okay (Okay, yes sometimes!)? Or do I plan our days thoughtfully and parent with purpose? I think we'd all like to practice the latter.

One challenging decision I wrestled with recently as a mother was whether we should homeschool. My husband was homeschooled from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and when I met him I didn't even know that was a thing. Frankly, it seemed weird. But over the years he convinced me to give it a shot. And now, two years into it, we love it. It helps me to be intentional because I have so many opportunities to spend quality time with my kids. We have great conversations, explore together and simply enjoy the act of learning. It's a natural extension of my parenting.

I'll add that being intentional as a parent doesn't mean you have to plan out every waking hour with meaningful life lessons. It does mean you have an end-goal in mind when you're living out your life day to day. I want my kids to love God, to be compassionate, to be responsible stewards, and to pursue their passions whole-heartedly. Homeschooling gives us a lot of opportunity to explore these things.

 

What is the hardest part of being a mother? The easiest? The most rewarding?

The hardest part (and probably every mom will tell you this) is that you never get time off. Even when I get that sacred hour or two away apart from them, I'm thinking about those rascals. Your body, mind and soul permanently belong to these other little beings.

The easiest part is loving up on them. I'm not a very physically affectionate person, but for the most part I could snuggle with my babies for hours (except when they're squirmy and it's 3 a.m.). 

The most rewarding part is watching in awe as these little people grow and blossom into big people. They are each so uniquely beautiful in multiple ways, and I marvel at them daily. 

 
 

How would you say intentionality as a mother has affected other areas of your life?

Intentionality in motherhood has helped me see that the little moments count. It might not seem like I'm doing much when I spend my days changing diapers and wiping noses, but then I blink and my babies are growing into incredible little people and thriving. I realize that all those seemingly insignificant moments are quite powerful when added together. The same applies to my marriage, my relationships and my work. If I can just keep working at the little things, I will eventually see big changes.

 

What would you say to encourage a mother who is struggling with intentionality in this area of her life?

Several things. First, take some time and think about what your end goals are with your parenting. What kinds of people do you want your children to be? A lot of Christians say they just want their kids to be faithful—but what does a faithful life look like? Think about this, pray about it and write it down.

Second, remember that we all have days when we feel like we are barely keeping our heads above water, especially when we have little babies. We can't find matching socks let alone try to have some sort of vision for our parenting. Don't worry, those days will pass. But if you're past the baby stage and you're still struggling, ask yourself if you have enough breathing room in your schedule. Do you have downtime with your kids, opportunities to have great conversations? Those are the times when the rubber hits the road in your parenting. Sometimes they're planned, but more often they're not. Make space to just be with your kids.

 
 

Lastly, just rely on God's word, the Bible, and pray for and with your kids daily. I think of Deuteronomy 6:4–9, which paints a picture of how a family that follows God is constantly saturated in his commandments. If you want to raise kids to be lifelong believers, you have to model what that looks like. Start with your own faith walk, and then share it with them. Are siblings arguing—or are you arguing? Talk about what Jesus said about serving one another in John 13:1–17. Have them pray for each other. Are they having bad attitudes about doing chores? Talk about what Jesus said about "going the extra mile" in Matthew 5:41. These truths in scripture are more powerful than any clever thoughts we can pull together on our own. The more we lean on God, the more natural it is to be intentional.


What about you? Are you a mother intentional about motherhood? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

 

Women of Intention Week Four: Family

Women of Intention, RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Welcome to week four of the series, Women of Intention! Over the next fifteen weeks, Maple Alps will feature a woman who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE

#WomenOfIntention16 Women of Intention Week Four: Intentionality in Your Family

Women of Intention Week Four: Family

This week's Intentional Woman:

Today, we are talking with Justine: blogger and owner of Little Dove Creations, an adorable homemade apparel and accessory shop!

Justine is an amazing wife and mother and I am excited to share her interview with you today!

Once you're done reading, be sure to not only check out her shop and blog, Little Dove Blog, but also share your thoughts (and if you want, the post too!).

Find Justine on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


 

Tell Us A Bit About Yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?

I love to bake yummy things, make pretty things, watch funny things, and read clever things. Most of my “spare time” right now is spent on my business—Little Dove Creations—where I blog and create unique and custom clothing for tiny babes all the way to adults.

I truly thought a lot about this question and I really feel like my passions all come back to one thing… wanting to be a better person; wanting to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

I love to bake and create yummy things in the kitchen. Why? Because I love to do that service for my family. I love to create and craft and DIY. Why? Because I strive to make our home a fun, functional, and inspirational space for our family. I love to work on my blog and my online shop. Why? Because it pushes me and tests my limits. I believe that all these things are helping me to be a better person and that is why I’m passionate about them.

 

As a mother and wife, why would you say intentionality within the family context is important? How does that practically look for your family?

One day I was sitting on the couch with my children—I don’t remember why; it’s very rare that I’m sitting on the couch in the middle of the day. My three year old came over asking me for a hug and to sit in my lap. I pulled her into my lap and then picked up my phone to scroll through my email and Instagram feed—you know, the important stuff—when she whipped her head around and said, “Put the phone down!” I had been chastised by my own daughter for not being present in the moment, for not being intentional with my time.

Time passes by so quickly. The time when your children are small is especially fleeting. That is why it is so vital to a happy and healthy family relationship to know what is important and to make that your focus. Sounds easy enough, right? But life, as it so often does, gets in the way. Especially in today’s world of technology and social media screaming at us from every direction, it is easy to get lost in a fog and realize that your actions are no longer pointing towards your ultimate goal anymore.

The first thing you have to know is what your goal is. For us a major goal is family time. This includes spending more time together, enjoying being with each other, and being kinder with each other… something that I have learned is that sometimes quantity DOES matter more than quality. As in the above example, my daughter just wanted to sit in my lap. She wasn’t asking for a story to be read (in fact, I think she was watching a cartoon); she wasn’t asking for me to spend time working on an art project; she wasn’t asking for me to make her a snack; she wasn’t asking for ANYTHING other than for me to make a small space in my present moment (and lap) for her.

 

I imagine with four little ones, things tend to get a little crazy at times. How do you stay mindful when situations that are more stressful arise?

Somebody once told my husband that we had too many kids. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Our kids—as wonderful as they are—are far from perfect and our lives are pretty chaotic. However, I don’t believe your family planning is anyone else’s business as long as everyone is financially and emotionally cared for. The funny thing is that in those particularly trying times when I feel like I’m going to lose it, oftentimes it’s my kids that bring me back down and center my focus.

I think that my Heavenly Father knew I’d need help so he sent me my sweet son (who can melt my heart with a hug), my eldest daughter (who calls me to repentance with her words), my two year old little ham (who helps me remember to find the humour in situations and remember what actually matters), and my baby girl (who is a daily reminder that I’ve been entrusted with a great responsibility).

 

How else does your mindfulness translate into your every-day activities and work?

One of the things that I’ve been working on lately is separating my work and home life. I have to remember that my first and greatest job title is that of mother; it’s really more than a job as I see it as my calling here on earth. My other job (blogger, small business owner) should come second to that—always.

This balancing act used to be easier when all my kids were still napping, but now that two out of four don’t and the blogging is taking up more time… it’s a struggle; one that I’m continually battling with since I don’t want to miss my children’s childhood because I was sitting behind a computer screen.

For me I know I need to distance myself from my phone and computer more when my family is around. Simple things like folding laundry in the same room as my children rather than away in a room, or REALLY trying to not work on computer stuff while my kids are awake and active are good jumping off points to being more present and intentional with our family time.

 

What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling with intentionality in the area of family in their life?

Nobody is perfect; we are all just a work in progress. I’d been tricked (as I think many of us are) into thinking that the only moments with our kids that count are the “Instagram worthy” ones—the snapshots of frosting cookies with our children or taking them on walks to the park for a nature scavenger hunt. Don’t get me wrong, those things are wonderful! But what our kids (especially our young ones) need is quite simply our time; as much time as possible.

I think we all have our own “ah-ha” moment, where we realize that we will never be perfect or have perfect lives, perfect houses, or perfect kids. That’s just not reality—that is not the reason we’ve been sent to this earth. We were sent here to learn and grow. It’s very freeing when you have that moment! Once you realize that, then I think you enjoy being with your kids more; you enjoy being more present and intentional with your time. So give your kids all the time you can before they stop asking for it, okay?


What about you? Are you intentional in your family setting? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, or connect with us on social media?

(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)

Women of Intention

Women of IntentionAmanda Walter | Maple Alps14 Comments

I am so excited to introduce you to the new series, "Women of Intention!" Maple Alps is a faith-based lifestyle blog focused on living intentionally, simply and content. The goal is to present these principles to our readers in a practical way. 

Over the next fifteen weeks (check every Monday morning!), Maple Alps will feature a woman who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. These areas will include faith, relationships, lifestyle, finances and health (scroll to the bottom to see a complete list).

It has been so exciting getting to know the amazing women being interviewed, and I hope you will be as inspired and motivated by their stories and insights as I have been.

We want to grow the community of intentionality. Please feel free to add and share throughout the next fifteen weeks as we explore the topics being discussed. You can do this through commenting on the interview posts, or engaging and sharing via social media - commenting or posting! We would love to see how you're finding intentionality in your lives. Go ahead and use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 on your tweets or posts to make sure everyone sees it and can be inspired too :)

Women of Intention #WomenOfIntention16

Keep up with the posts every Monday morning, or keep checking back to this post, where I will list the links are they are posted. Please note, that order of topics is subject to change.



Are you practicing intentionality in your life, or striving for it? Were you especially inspired a featured blogger? Are you excited for this series? Why don't you tell us and everyone you know about it? There are likely many readers who share the same thoughts.

Tweet about it, post on Instagram or Facebook - wherever you want - and use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 to interact with the small community of like-minded readers! I know that everyone involved would love to hear from you!