Friday, November 30, 2012

10 Minutes for You

If I were to ask you, "What did you do for yourself today?"  What would you say?

As mothers we have often a hard time with that question. Doing something for ourselves might make us feel like we're being selfish or not taking care of the kids or not caring about their needs.  Yet this is our full-time job, caring for others, and just as if it was a paid job, we need to take breaks throughout the day.

What you do for yourself might vary depending on the age of your child.  Do you love to exercise and can't find time for it?  When your baby is a newborn or toddler, that might not be something you get to do everyday, but as he grows older, his needs will change and you might find yourself fitting it in somewhere.  Do you love to scrapbook?  Maybe you cannot do that every single day, but you can schedule in a time once a month to do it because it brings you joy. The key is to plan moments for yourself and not feel guilty about it.

Although most of us would likely say that we do something fun for ourselves once or twice a month, I encourage you to daily find something you look forward to - something that will relax you, bring you joy, or be an outlet.  Before you tune me out for being impractical, let me state that I understand it is hard to find time, especially under certain circumstances - if you work, have more than one child, homeschool, etc...  But if you cannot find at least 5 minutes for you at least twice a day, some priorities need to change.

Whenever we do have small pockets of time, we usually try to accomplish something. Today I had 10 minutes and had to call my insurance to work out an issue.  Total pain.  But later on I found 10 minutes again, and this is what I did:

I went in my room, turned off the light, and laid in the dark.  It was quiet.  I was alone. Nobody was jumping on me or asking me to make them a snack for the 100th time.  I could actually hear myself breathing.  After 10 minutes, I got up and emerged from my bedroom with a clearer head and a little more energy.  (You might wonder what my boys were doing during that 10 minutes - they were watching a video at that moment - hallelujah!) :)

Today, what is something small that you can do for yourself with a small pocket of time?

Maybe you would read your Bible.
Or have a cup of coffee.
Perhaps you would take a quick nap, or rest for a bit.
Maybe you would read a magazine article.
Or listen to music
Maybe you'd even (gasp) exercise
Or go outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air

Only you can find what works for you.

But please don't do these things and think it will bring you rest:

Peruse the internet
Email someone
Read a blog
Listen to talk radio
Look for jobs
Write a blog post :)

Because hey, I'm all for enjoying time online, reading (and writing) blogs, but it most likely won't bring you rest or joy.  Find something creative that you can do that will allow you to stop and breathe without adding more noise to your already crowded mind.

So what would you do right now if you had 10 minutes?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Who Can You Believe In?

Over lunch with a friend, she had tears in her eyes as she told me how one of her dreams had started to come true - a ministry she had told me about a year earlier that had been on her heart was now becoming reality.

"You were the only one who believed in me," she said.

"Really?" I replied, surprised.  I didn't understand. Her dream was not far-fetched; it was just something on her heart that she felt God calling her to do.  All I remember saying is that she could do it; I knew she could!

Unfortunately when she went to others, they weren't so encouraging.  People reminded her that "it had been done before and didn't work," "we've already tried that," and "there are others more qualified who could do the same thing."

It made me sad to hear that.  How hard is it just to encourage somebody? When they have an idea, how hard is it to just say, "I believe in you!"  Apparently it is really hard for some people. I understand; I have been one of those people many times before. As a "realist," not an "idealist," I am the first to think about the many details that can often be overlooked.  But as I get older, I am realizing that what is more important is not being the expert or stating the details involved, but just to believe in other people and support their dreams.  Let God handle the details, and let God show that person what to do next.

I hope and pray that I have more opportunities to encourage people in their dreams.

Two years ago someone did this for me- I told her of my dream to write a book, and she was the first person to say, "I know you can do it, and I will support you no matter what."  It made a huge difference, because every time I feel like giving up, I remember her words.

Today I saw this video on Facebook, and it was so moving that I had to share it.  One person believed that this man could overcome insurmountable obstacles, and that is what helped him to achieve his goal.  Incredible.  Take a few moments to watch this video; it will amaze you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Living in the Moment

I was recently talking with a wise friend who shared this with me, and I wanted to pass it on:

"Depression happens when we're living in the past. Anxiety happens when we're living in the future.  We need to live 'present-tense' in the now, fully immersed in whatever it is we're doing."

That statement really rang true for me.  We tend to live either in the past or the future.  For me, it's the future.  I'm continually thinking of things that I need to do, goals I want to achieve, or things that could happen.

Others live primarily in the past, wishing they could change things that happened, or feeling guilty.

It can be hard to live in the present.  Sometimes I feel like I'm living with adult ADHD, barely able to focus on the task right in front of me.  On one hand, I thrive on multi-tasking - but it becomes a problem when I can no longer focus on one thing well.

She went on to say,

"If you're doing dishes, do the dishes (focus on doing that to the best of your ability).  If you're in a conversation, be in the conversation (focus).  If you're doing laundry, do the laundry."  Focus, focus, focus.  For me, when I'm working, I need to work. When I'm mothering, I need to mother well.  When I'm studying, study.  Distractions will never go away, but I can still work on being focused on what is right in front of me. 

If we somehow learned the art of focusing, we could avoid so many spiraling thoughts.  We wouldn't worry so much about what people are thinking about us. We wouldn't dwell on our mistakes as much.  We wouldn't fret about the future so often.  Our minds might just be open enough to hear that still, small whisper of God that longs to speak to our hearts.

Jesus even teaches this concept in Matthew 6:33-34:  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This video for Ann Voskamp's 1000 gifts illustrates this so well. Take a moment to watch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A 5 Year Old's Anxiety

This morning was rough.  We got the boys ready for school, and 15 minutes before we had to leave, the revolt happened.

The 5 year old was NOT. GOING. TO. GO.

It started with the shoes.  "They are too tight!" then "I have a blister!" "I cannot gooooooo!" He wailed.

Then it turned to what happened yesterday: "I got hit in the face with a soccer ball!  And I don't want to play anything else; it's all BORING!"  Huge tears rolled down his face.

Then it got heavier and the sobs came and came and came.  "I have to erase my letters so much," he cried, and I felt for him.  Our 7 year old has the perfectionist gene as well.

"And I don't want to go to the computer lab. I don't know how to type the letters!" he cried some more.

We tried to get him into the car, but it became a chase. He dodged and hid behind chairs, under the table, behind the couch...and our other son was going to be late...again.

So I took Micah to school and left Martin and Jaden behind.  It's hard enough when 1 parent doesn't know what to do with their child, but when 2 parents don't know what to do - well, what do you do then?

I prayed the whole way there with a lump in my throat.  I hate seeing him sad; I hate seeing him struggle.  I felt like a horrible mom.  Yet I also didn't want him thinking that he could stay home anytime he didn't feel like going.

I dropped Micah off and went back home.  They were still sitting in the same spot as when I left.  Martin and I looked at each other with confusion- what do we do?

We decided to wait 1 hour and then try it again. He's already missed 6 days of school for being sick, and we don't want him to miss anymore if we can help it.

I sat at my desk and held him, and asked for prayer on Twitter.  People prayed.

At 10am we tried again. More screaming, more crying, more chasing.  But this time we had to at least try it.  We struggled and put him in the car, and I'm sure all the neighbors heard him.  His screams turned to sobs again and tears welled up in my eyes.  Are we doing the right thing?

When we arrived at the school, his class was leaving for recess, and the kids called out his name with excitement.  "Jaden's here!" but it didn't help. He buried his head in Martin's neck and wouldn't let go.

We filled out the late slip, sat on the bench and waited...and waited...

I reminded Jaden that school is a safe place, that his teacher cares about him, that his friends love him. I reminded him that angels are there protecting him.  He nodded.

And then I saw his teacher out of the corner of my eye. She came and sat with us. She asked what was wrong, she consoled him, she listened.  She said he is one of her best students, that she misses him when he's gone, that if anything ever happens to him, he can tell her.  She told him how easy and fun the computer lab is, and that he doesn't need to erase his work because he does such a good job.  His eyes grew brighter as she talked, and his heaviness lifted a bit.

"Come on, Jaden; will you go with me to pick the kids up from recess?" and she reached out her hand and took his small hand in hers.

I have had many moments where I worry about my son, where I wonder if he is okay, when I question if public school is the best choice for him.  There are many things I wish we could do differently. Yet today I was reminded that God cares about little hearts and little hands, and He watches over His own.  I left with a heart full of thankfulness for my son's school and his teacher, and that I can leave him in safe and loving hands.

It takes a little time, sometimes....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mom Talk: Kids & Technology

How much technology should our kids be exposed to?  Do you set limits with your kids?  If so, what works for you?

Here is a short video of what has worked for our family:

Kids & Technology from Jaimie Bowman on Vimeo.

View Mom Talk Episode 1: Loneliness in Motherhood

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Merging Blogs

Hi Everyone!!

I am in the process of merging this blog with my new blog  My hope is that Jaimie will be a combination of every facet of life that I love: my faith, family, leadership, speaking and writing.  The bonus is that you will only have to come to one blog instead of two!

If you haven't done so already, would you please consider becoming a follower or subscriber at the new site

Thank you for your patience!