Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Some practical, godly tips for women who are struggling with depression, hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.  #parenting #forwomen #christian

Feeling overwhelmed is something everyone experiences….some of us more than others.

I get hundreds of emails and messages from women who are overwhelmed, struggling with depression and feeling hopeless.  I wish I could have each of you over for an iced tea with Sonic ice and some real fellowship.

I’m here to share some hope with you.  This week’s YouTube video has 3 tips for what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and depressed.  I can’t take away your problems, but I can tell you what works for me when I feel that ugly old hopelessness creeping in.

Before you go…..I want to leave you with even more encouragement from the One who CAN take away your problems….

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

John 13:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

Psalm 142:3 “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”

Psalm 61:2 ” From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I am praying for you…even if I don’t know you, God does.

Do You Have a Dream?

Do You Have a Dream?

I have been about to BUST to tell you my big news.  But I waited, because patience is a virtue.  Also because I am a person who holds in information in case it doesn’t actually happen.  A little insight into my sad, sad personality.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time you know that I have dreamed of writing a book.  In fact, I did write a short one last year and planned to turn it into an ebook.  It was in the works when God, in His beautiful way, flipped that plan upside down and used that ebook to get the attention of a literary agent and then a publisher.

And now that all Ts and Is have been crossed and dotted I can tell you…..I am writing a real book.  One you can hold in your hand and buy in a store.  Even as I type it out I have to pinch myself.

I thought about waiting a while longer to tell y’all.  It was a favor to you really.  So you don’t have to keep yourself from asking me constantly, “Are you REALLY writing a book? Because I haven’t seen it anywhere!”  It turns out that the process takes much longer than I ever thought….in my case about a year….before it will actually be on a shelf.  But you all are amazing and kind so I overcame my hesitation.

My book will come out next fall, in 2015.

However, I have discovered that it is next to impossible to keep up with 3-4 blog posts a week AND write a whole book.  I simply can’t do it without ignoring my kids and all efforts to eat healthy.  So until my December first deadline I will be posting just once or twice a week and occasionally re-posting some content that you might not have seen before.  I am also considering letting my girls write for The Pennington Point once in a while.

I didn’t ever dream this would be a reality….honestly I am blown away by God’s grace.  He has been my guide and comfort all along the way.

If you get anything from my big announcement let it be this: Whatever He planted in your heart long ago, He will lead you to that.  It will probably not happen the way you expect or even look the way you thought it should, but don’t ever stop going for that goal.  I have dreamed of this since I was a child and here I am….about to turn 50 (another thing I can’t believe when I type it out) and it is just now happening. Never give up!!!!

news-pin

My book doesn’t have an official title yet, but it is all about joy and gratitude and giving thanks in all things.  I promise you will love it.  As soon as I finish writing it.  And we design a cover.  And all of the other details that I can’t even think about or I start to hyperventilate.

It will be based on my most popular post called,20 Ways to Reset When the Kids Are Having a Hard Day.”  It’s a beautiful, freeing concept that I have a lot more to say about plus tons of very funny stories to share with you!

Our whole family is blessed by what God is doing through this.  Despite my pitiful fear of shouting it from the rooftops.

What’s your dream?! 

 

If You Don’t Mind…..

If You Don’t Mind…..

I may have a problem.  Like I need counseling and possibly shock therapy.  I love books.  I have shelves full of them in every room and when someone offers to send me one to review I simply can’t resist.  #bookaddiction

But I realize I have not told you much about all of the writing that’s happening right under our very roof. #mykids

Besides writing a book myself, my daughter Grace has written 4 books and the first three are available on Amazon.  #true

1. Firmament: Radialloy is about a young woman who lives on a starship.  If your teen or young adult likes sci-fi this is a fun adventure!
2. Firmament: In His Image is the second in this series (with the third coming out very soon!) and follows the same main character.
3. Never is a clean, wholesome, family friendly western with slightly more mature conflicts.

She also has a blog where she reviews books and it’s always nice to find clean books for our kids to read.

Grace

My daughter Patience also has a blog that is for budding photographers.  She’s really good at encouraging you to love your family and follow your passion.  Your photo-driven kids would love this.  #itisprecious

Pep

And, if you don’t mind me telling you, my oldest son is making an album of songs that he has written.  He has a website that tells about his vision and he is also wrapping up a fundraiser to help get it made.  #hemakesmyheartmelt

Jacob

Not to be left out, my daughter Hope is writing a graphic novel (kind of like a faith-based comic book) and my other daughter Faith is starting her own jewelry line.  Those are still works in progress. #iamconstantlyamazed

I really don’t mention all of their accomplishments much because I don’t want to be braggy.  But just this once….I had to say it.

Thanks for letting me.  #proudmom

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The Humbler Games

The Humbler Games

It’s Friday and around here that means just one thing…..another YouTube video!

This week’s video is called, “The Humbler Games.”

Y’all will love this one.  We did something different and made a little movie.  It’s so much fun for us because we all worked together to make it (lots of us behind the scenes even though you don’t see us on camera!).   This picture only shows who worked on the day of shooting, but the other kids helped too.

A fun youtube video full of encouragement for the discouraged mom!

This is meant to encourage those of you who are tired or discouraged.  There is always hope!  God is ready for you to call on Him when you feel like you can’t take it anymore.  It’s The Humbler Games…..

A fun youtube video full of encouragement for the tired, discouraged mom! #parenting #youtube

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The Next YouTube Sensation?!

The Next YouTube Sensation?!

Guess what!  I have started a YouTube channel and I am so excited about it.

Well, as excited as you can be about something you don’t understand how to do without Googling every-single-step while you create it.

I have been feeling badly about not being able to answer all of the parenting questions I get, so this is my solution.  It’s SO much easier to talk for a few minutes and I think y’all will like these short tips.  Short is the operative word.  I won’t take much of your time.  (now I feel like a Ginsu knife salesman….but I promise I won’t ask for $19.99).

I will be adding a new video every Friday and sometimes they will be, uh, how shall I put this?  Silly.  Fun.  OK, weird.  Your kids will like the weird ones.  But normally they will be simple and mostly for Mom.  That’s what the two that are already there are…simple mom stuff.

You'll love this YouTube channel with parenting tips and faith-based teaching!

So there you go.  I hope you’ll go subscribe and tell your friends to subscribe.  I’d like to feel like I’m talking to more than 7 people.  But truthfully, if no one ever sees them but my children while they are trying to raise their own kids (which they haven’t had yet but I have high hopes for the future) that’s really fine by me.

Thanks!

Don’t miss it!

Let Me ‘Splain.  No, There is too Much.  Let Me Sum Up.

Let Me ‘Splain. No, There is too Much. Let Me Sum Up.

I am not going to make any attempt to tell you all about the past week of my life.  It’s frankly too much activity for one person and I am now considering applying to be on The Amazing Race, having proved to myself that I can get lost in several cities and survive.

In San Francisco last weekend I had the taxi driver from ‘H-E-double-hockey-sticks’, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic as I cried out in terror, and I lived to tell about it.  Having looked into the face of death and won, I am feeling much less intimidated by the 9 children and 450 emails that await my attention this morning.

Not to mention last Sunday being followed around Seattle at 5:30AM by a homeless man who decided I needed to hear all about how much he hates it when people stare at him.  That, for this country girl, was a bit too much.  I did think he was generally harmless, but it unnerved me enough that I got turned around and couldn’t find my way back to my hotel.  I had to kind of just keep jogging instead of trying to stop and figure it out.  Nothing says “come attack me” like standing alone in a deserted downtown staring at a tourist map.  I did eventually find it, thankfully!

Yesterday on a drive home from Houston I started feeling my body settle into travel weariness and I had to munch on Sonic ice to keep from falling asleep.  When we pulled into the driveway I asked my daughter who was with me if she minded propping me on her back and dragging me into the house.  I wasn’t sure if I could make the last 100 ft.

I am glad to report I have a couple of weeks off from traveling and plan to spend every second with my kids that didn’t get to go with me and just stare at them.  This morning I sat at the table to talk with my boys and I told Elijah, “Bring your chair over here and sit right next to me.”  He did and I kept patting his back and rubbing his shoulder when finally I just proclaimed that even though he is 11 years old, I would need him to sit in my lap for a few minutes because I missed him too much to be satisfied with just being next to him.  He begrudgingly did it.  I hugged it out then released him to go be his own person who will undoubtedly need therapy someday.

Speaking of needing therapy, my daughter Hope will likely have a lot to say to her future counselor after having seen me in my underwear yesterday.  In the middle of the mall.  We were shopping and as I reached toward a rack of clothes it happened….my skirt fell right to the floor.  It was all so quick!  I heard her gasp, felt a chill on my backside and something plopped at my feet all in the same second.  I looked down and tried to process what the gray pile of fabric was around my ankles.  Could that be my skirt?!  Yep.  I scooped it up as fast as I could then turned to my daughter to see her laughing so hard she had to walk away.  I tried to just nonchalantly move onward through the mall like nothing happened, but it kept flashing through our minds and we’d start to giggle uncontrollably.  Nothing like a little mother-daughter bonding to end the weekend.

Have a good one!

Just Keepin’ On!

Just Keepin’ On!

In the 6 years since I started blogging this is the first time I have gone a whole week without posting.  Not even when I had dental surgery the day after my grandmother passed away.  That should tell you how crazy it’s been here.

Just a few days after I got home from Salt Lake City I flew to Chicago to go to the 2:1 Conference where I was also a speaker.  That meant I needed to figure out what I was going to talk about in my session plus fill a load of Shop24 orders before I left.  So I had one of my kids make my Power Point and another one finish filling the etsy orders.  You say sweatshop; I say survival.

Somehow I made it to Chicago in mostly one piece and the conference was great.  Those are my people.  Homeschool, Christian bloggers (not to mention my peeps from Hip Homeschool Moms!).  The sessions covered everything from building your blog as a business to understanding when to get off line and live your life.  Hallelujah for a conference with a conscience!

Conference buddies

My sweet friends Heidi St. John, Connie Hughes and Jen Schmidt!

If you are following me on Instagram then you know that I spent Monday attempting to see all of Chicago in one day.  I was alone, which made it easier to just run from one place to the next without worrying about another person.  Normally I would have missed having someone to talk to, but since I had spent the past 2 weekends surrounded by hundreds of friends, I kind of enjoyed the quiet.  I saw so many places that I am seriously considering writing a pamphlet showing how I did it.

A quick trip to see Chicago!

The Chicago Theater

My first tip: Lose weight and start exercising.  ‘Cuz no way I could have done that a year ago.  I would have worn out too quickly and had to stop.  I am not exaggerating when I say I think I climbed at least 1,000 steps.  That alone would have put me into some kind of medical crisis before I started getting healthy.  I did get tired, but not as much as you would think.

A quick trip to see Chicago!

The Bean! (aka Cloud Gate)

Once I got home I had to pull out the Energizer Bunny suit and keep on going because it was one of the boys’ birthday and that couldn’t be missed.  I headed to the city with him and a couple of the other kids (they get to invite 2 siblings to join them on their b-day outing).  Unfortunately he wanted to see Captain America, which is my third time to watch that movie.  Once to preview it for the kids, again when my husband wanted to go together and now this.  I don’t even care for super hero movies, so I mostly ran in and out bringing drinks and snacks to the three kids.  I will do pretty much anything to avoid seeing people fighting.  And car chases….they make me so upset that I get sick to my stomach.  I sit there worrying about the people whose cars get crashed in the chase and if they have insurance or small children in the car.

James tries to explain to me that they aren’t real people’s cars and it’s all pretend.  But I say that if I am supposed to believe those guys are flying through the air fighting to save the world then why am I not supposed to believe someone needs that car they just smashed to pieces?  Clearly I should stick with chick flicks and cartoons.

I am gonna spend the next few days unpacking and snuggling anyone who walks past.  I missed these people.  I also have big plans to clean up the house the way only a mamma can do.  They kept it pretty neat while I was gone, but I have a need to scrub some walls and vacuum under furniture.

Then, just maybe, I will rest.  But I can’t make any promises.

Be sure to check out my Instagram!

I’ve Got a Ticket to Ride

I’ve Got a Ticket to Ride

It’s weeks like this when I wonder why I never took up drinking coffee.  I hear such great things about it.  Although truthfully, I get so obsessed with things I am sure I would have been one of those people that has 6 different coffee makers and orders her beans from exotic countries and thumbs her nose at Folger’s people.

I am leaving again today for another conference and this time I am speaking.  Crazy, you say?  You’re right.  But I love the 2:1 conference!  And I love the ladies that attend!!!  I’m excited to get there.

On Monday morning when I got home from Salt Lake City, I removed the contents of my suitcase, washed the laundry and then piled it all back on top of the suitcase at the foot of my bed.  There it sat all week waiting for me to shove it all back in and carry it to Chicago.

I have never been to Chicago so I asked around to find out what I must see while I am there.  I got a ton of great tips, including Navy Pier and several museums.  I finally decided to buy a Go Chicago pass that gets me into a bunch of places free.  I’ve got one day after the conference to be touristy.  I plan to see as much as possible.

And since I have a problem with getting stuck on songs….I will now be humming, “I’ve Got a Ticket to Ride” in my head for the next week.  My guess is, since I don’t really know the words, that it’s a terrible song and no one should be singing it, but I can’t make it stop.  It’s a sickness I tell you.  My decision not to drink coffee is looking smarter and smarter all the time.  I can’t even imagine being stuck on a song while hyped up on caffeine.

Back in the day if I was in Chicago I would have gone to see Oprah or Donahue.  I miss them.  Now it’s all comediennes and reality TV stars doing talk shows in New York and LA.  I also miss “Little House on the Prairie” and shoulder pads.  But that’s not relevant here.

Last night I sat with the kids and gave out assignments for while I am away.  I told them all of the things I expect them to do before I return home.  Last weekend while I was gone was the fun weekend.  This one is the work weekend.  Painting and repairing and deep cleaning.  Throw in some geography memorization and it’s gonna be a partay around here.  If you happen to drive by and see no one working….please stop and crack a whip for me.

I went to bed before 10 because I knew Friday and Saturday I would be up late into the night visiting with my conference buddies.  These homeschool blogging moms know how to celebrate a weekend with no kids.  I packed my Depends just in case the laughing gets going….y’all know I don’t handle that well.

Have a great weekend.  Try not to get my song stuck in your head.

My Four Favorite Essential Oils and a Giveaway!

My Four Favorite Essential Oils and a Giveaway!

Four great essential oils that you must try! -- The Pennington Point

You already know that I am wild over my Young Living essential oils.  Joy and Valor are running rampant around here.  The oils have helped so much with not only the occasional runny noses and sunburn, but also with things like the kids’ concentration and my random moodiness.

I even read some info last week that said lemon, frankincense and lavender can help with wrinkles.  Oh, you can bet I am trying that.  If anyone asks me if I have had work done on my face you will be the first to know!

To get James through tax season I diffused oils in his office for the past month.  I am sure the clients that stopped by to pick up their tax return wondered what that lovely, but un-CPA-like scent was.  Not that CPAs have a specific scent, but how often do you go into an accountant’s office and immediately feel relaxed and clear headed?

The oils in the Premium Kit are fantastic and if you haven’t tried them that’s the very best place to start.  I am having a love affair with every one of them!  But there are a few others that I love too, so I thought I’d share them with you in case you’re looking for something new to try.

 Four great essential oils that you must try! -- The Pennington Point

1. Abundance – this oil is so rich and lovely.  I have used almost a whole bottle just sharing it with friends because I want everyone to try it.  It’s one that I use every day.  There’s just something about it.  Since using it I have noticed that I am more open to opportunities that come my way and I’m better able to decide which path to follow when faced with a conflict.  I have definitely had an increase of success lately.  I don’t think the oil does that of course, but it opens me up to the possibilities.

2. Clarity – I travel so much that I always, always take this oil with me.  I tend to get easily overwhelmed when I am running to make a flight or being patted down by the airport security.  This oil helps me keep my wits about me.  I also need it at the grocery store, in traffic and most definitely when going over my receipts with my husband.

3. Magnify Your Purpose – I bought this oil for my older kids…to help them as they find their way in life.  But then I discovered it is great for me too!  I diffused it while I was working on my book and it really helped.  My essential oil reference book says, “This blend stimulates the endocrine system for greater energy flow to the right hemisphere of the brain, activating creativity, motivation, and focus.”  Yes, please.

Four great essential oils that you must try! -- The Pennington Point

4. Into the Future – When I was at the Summit last January I met another Young Living friend who had this oil with her.  Of course I had to try it and WOW!  I really loved it.  I felt so alive!  You can imagine how much it elevated the experience of being with a group of women who were on this homeschooling journey with too.  It is supposed to help you leave the past behind and progress with vision and excitement.  I use it anytime I am feeling apprehensive or a need to look forward instead of wallowing in the past.  In other words, I use it a lot.

I have built up a wonderful collection of oils that have been a blessing to me in so many ways.  But these four are my current faves.  And I can’t stand not to give some of it to you.  So here’s what I want to do…..

I am going to randomly choose one of you to give ONE of these oils to (choose from Abundance 15ml, Clarity 15 ml, Magnify Your Purpose 5ml or Into the Future 5ml) along with an essential oil pocket reference.

Pocket reference giveaway I use my pocket reference all of the time….like several times a day.  I used to keep it in the bathroom just to read through it because I find it so fascinating.  So I have to share that too!  That’s one bottle of fabulous oils and a Pocket reference….a $55 value!!!

Just because I love you so.

And if you are interested in getting started with Young Living oils you can CLICK HERE to learn a little more about that.  I would love to have you join me on this great adventure!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, I am not a doctor.  The testimonies I share here are my experience and not intended for diagnosis or cure.  It is your responsibility to educate yourself and if you are dealing with a serious situation I encourage you to seek professional help.

Do Teens Need Privacy?

Do Teens Need Privacy?

In the past week I have had three phone calls with desperate moms who need help in handling a teen who keeps crying out about the injustice of having their privacy invaded. I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts about this with you all too….in case any of you are also dealing with this issue.

The truth about teens demanding their privacy....

The thing about teens needing privacy is…..it’s bunk.  This is a “rule” of life that the teen just made up.  Then society and psychology feeds it by telling them that they deserve it.  I’m sorry, but it simply isn’t true.

Yes, we all need times that we can be alone with our thoughts to figure out problems or rest or help a friend occasionally.  But the idea that we should be able to keep secrets about what we are doing or planning or that kids should be allowed to hide their texts from their parents is pure craziness.

You, the parents, are responsible for your child’s actions and you are providing for and protecting them.  They have no right to privacy from you.  You give them the privacy that YOU think they need, not that they demand.  In fact, the more they demand it the less I will give.  That just tells me that they are hiding something and that’s not OK.

God gave us all a built in private place through our thoughts, dreams and prayers.  Your children have that automatically and they have complete control over how much of that they will share with you.  Parents definitely should not try to push their way into their child’s thoughts.  It’s disrespectful.

BUT they do not automatically get privacy over what’s in their drawers or who they talk to on the phone or where they are going.  That privacy is earned by proving you are trustworthy.

Now let me say here that I have never gone through my children’s drawers or made them show me their texts.  When we have a problem, I may tell them that because I am not trusting them in a certain area it would be best if they show me those things.  If they refuse (which has never happened so I am just thinking here) I would take the phone, contents of the drawer, etc. from them and hold it until they agreed to show it to me and discuss it responsibly and face whatever consequences come with their choices.  I would not just look through it behind their back unless I felt something dangerous was happening.

I work hard to make sure my kids can trust me not to overreact when they tell me they have done something they shouldn’t.  However, I have no problem taking a phone away, putting restrictions on it, holding favorite toys, whatever it takes to teach the lesson.  I love my children too much to let something like an ipod or toy come between them and their godly character.

The very idea that a child (and yes, teens are still children no matter what they think) can demand to have secret phone conversations or hide what is in their purse is simply the result of a world losing touch with righteousness.

Here’s what God has to say on the matter from Luke 12:2-3, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”

He also says in Romans 13 that we are not to resist the authorities that God has appointed for us.  It is clear on that subject, but never says anything about 13 year olds having a right to use their phone at midnight.

I know this seems harsh.  I do think that a responsible, respectful teen should be able to have some private areas, as long as he knows that he is subject to being asked to share those places if a problem arises.  The main point is that YOU decide where privacy is allowed and not.  A young person does not yet have the wisdom, no matter how smart they are, to understand when that is necessary.  They also do not carry the weight of the financial, emotional, legal, physical or spiritual responsibility if something serious happens as a result of their actions.  You have every right to know what they are doing.

As long as my children are doing their work, taking care of their things, being respectful and kind….I give them privacy.  Although what’s funny is they don’t really feel the need for it as much if they aren’t trying to hide anything, which leads to me being happy to give it to them….the beautiful circle of trust.