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more time moms

How to Find Time in Busy Mom Life to Do What You Love (Guilt-free!)

(Inside: Moms, find more time in your busy life to do what you love. When you find that time, learn how to let go of the mom guilt and let that me-time nourish you.)

 

find more time moms
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Moms, do you wish you could find more actual time in your day to do what you love? Do you wish you could shake the mom-guilt so you could better allow your me-time to nourish you?

 

Moms, find more time…

 I talked about this topic at the Put the Me Back in Mommy Summit hosted by Isabelle Bridges. (Fun Fact: Isabelle is the daughter of actor Jeff Bridges.)

I presented on How to Find Time to Do What You Love (Without Feeling Guilty About it!).  I discuss: 

  • My epic mom-crash. 
  • Why taking me-time is not just important – it’s vital! 
  • How to let go of the mom-guilt. 
  • How to find more actual time in your busy day. 
  • How to maximize that time. 

Watch the replay below…

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find time moms
Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
more time moms

60+ Encouraging & Inspirational Best Books for Mothers

(Inside: Best inspirational books for mothers. Enjoy these quick reads that will inspire, encourage, and motivate you to love your mom life. )

best inspirational books for moms
Yes, I want all of the Freebies!

A book healed me. 

Okay, maybe that’s not totally true, but a book started my healing process. I was in a deep mom slump. A miscarriage followed by a job loss left me feeling beaten down at best. I’d never read inspirational Christian books before, but a title caught my eye: Uninvited – Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Lysa TerKeurst)  

I didn’t feel left out, but I felt sad (like all the time) and I cried a lot (like every day) and this book just seemed hopeful 

So, I started reading. Then this crazy thing happened…I felt better. Not a lot better, simply one minuscule click forward. But still, it was progress. So, I picked up another inspirational book. 

Then another. 

Dr. Gotham famously says a healthy marriage needs 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative one. (The magic 5:1 ratio.) I think our relationship with ourselves is the same: 5 positive thoughts for every 1 negative one. Except, in that low season of my life, one negative thought seemed to exponentially multiply – so I found that I needed to input about 15000 positive thoughts daily. Or maybe even hourly. As a result, I kept finding more inspirational books and reading them.   

(And did other work as well in healing. Lots of “other” work.) 

But slowly – at turtle speed – I climbed out of my valley. And it was through books that I kept a steady stream of encouragement flowing into my brain. So, momma, I don’t know where you’re at in motherhood: 

  • Are you depressed or feeling anxious? 
  • Are you trying to make a decision? 
  • Do you need the confidence to go after your dream? 
  • Do you just need encouragement to keep you going? 
  • Or things are going great, you just need “maintenance.” 


Here are some best books for moms to read. I’ve read most of them and the few I haven’t are on my “must-read” list. There is a book on this list that will move you. Read with joy, then tell me about it in the comments. (Or let me know about a book I missed!) 

Now, onto the list of best books for moms… 

books for mothers

This blog post contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission if you purchase through these links.  (At no extra cost to you.)

“I need to heal” best inspirational books for mothers 

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered (Lysa TerKeurst)
This is my number one recommendation. Lysa healed from a marriage betrayal, cancer, and more. I underlined every other sentence in this book.   

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Joy and Grief (Angie Smith) 
Angie walks you through her high-risk pregnancy. She knew her baby would die days/weeks after she gave birth. This book will both tear you apart and put you back together.  

The Broken Way: A Daring Path to the Abundant Life (Ann Voskamp) 
I found this book right when I needed it. It gives you a fresh look at pain and how it transforms your life in amazing ways. This book takes away the fear of hard stuff happening. You’ll see how that the cracks in your life let God’s love into your heart in breathtaking ways.  

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Lysa TerKeurst)  
I picked up this book when I was going through a painful period in my life; I had no idea how healing reading it would be. The bottom line is that it made me think about the root of some of my pain, which was seeking approval.  For anyone who struggles with people-pleasing, this is a must-read.  

Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole (Angie Smith) 
Angie wondered if really all hard things worked together for good. She took time to sort through her thoughts and research heartache; this is her story.  

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant) 
Sheryl Sandberg, a key leader in the Facebook company, shares her story of unexpectedly losing her husband. Through the grief and pain, her counselor helps her put her life back together.  

Learning to Breathe Again: Choosing Life and Finding Hope After a Shattering Loss (Tammy Trent)
Tammy and her husband were vacationing and unexpectedly, Tammy’s husband died while swimming in the ocean. This is Tammy’s story of healing and learning to breathe again.  

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way (Shauna Niequist)
I read this book just when I needed to hear this message. Amazon review explains: “Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness.” 

The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts (Sarah Mae)
Sarah tells her story of her tumultuous relationship with her alcoholic mom. The book has both Sarah’s words and her mom’s journals. Was Sarah makes sense of their rocky relationship, she finds healing, peace, and love. 

Fight Back with Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears (Margaret Feinberg)
Margaret talks about her battle with cancer and her determination to find joy in the journey. This book will encourage you to live well, even when it’s hard.  

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Brene Brown)
I don’t remember this book having any faith associations, but Brene’s research on shame is eye-opening and transformative.   

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again
Lysa’s well-researched book helps people heal from past hurts. She shares her personal stories, Bible teaching, a therapeutic insight that helps one heal and look forward with hope.

“I need to stop feeling so stressed in mom life” best inspirational books for mothers

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions (Lysa TerKeurst) 
Lysa meetbusy moms (and women) right where they’re out. She’ll help you find calm in big emotions and joy in the journey.  

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Shauna Niequist)
Shauna’s stories opened my eyes to see the practices in my life that were soul-sucking those that were lifegiving. The book gave me confidence to lean into what really matters.  

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World (Emily P. Freeman)
This book will help you slow down and look at your world around you with wonder and a renewed appreciation.  

What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms (Angie Smith) 
What Women Fear helps moms understand what we fear and why we fear these things. As we unpack our thoughts, we learn to overcome our fears with confidence.  

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (Jen Hatmaker)
After reading this book, I looked at all the “stuff” in my life and was able to let go of clutter that was supposed to be making me happy but instead was causing me stress. My faith grew in huge ways through reading Jen’s work.  

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of Your Try Hard Life (Emily P. Freeman) 
This is on my to-read list. Here’s what the review on Amazon says: “Many of us believe that we are saved by grace–but for too many, that’s the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weaknesses a secret. In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that in Christ we are free to receive from him rather than constantly try to achieve for him.” 

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy (Anne Lammott)
Anne shares sweet and funny stories that teach us how an imperfect life points us to hallelujah anyway! 

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life (Shauna Niequist)
This collection of stories will help you see how many beautiful, extraordinary moments are tucked into ordinary life.  

Hungry for God: Hearing God’s Voice in the Ordinary and the Everyday (Margaret Feinberg) 
Through this book, hear God’s voice in your ordinary life and let stress melt away.  

Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Ann Voskamp)
Ann was in a deep valley of sorrow and sadness. She desperately wanted to pull herself out of her depression, but she wasn’t sure how. So, she started writing down all the things she was grateful for. 1000 things. This book is poetic and beautiful. You won’t see the world around you the same again 

 

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“I need motivation” best inspirational books for mothers

Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits that Build Confidence, Courage, and Influence (Valorie Burton)
This is the best motivational book I’ve ever read. It will halt your fear, shift your perspective, and motivate you to go for it. With confidence.  

How to Have Your Life Not Suck: Becoming Today Who You Want to Be Tomorrow (Bianca Olthoff)
If you need motivation and practical advice on how to rock your everyday life, Bianca is your girl. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve listened to her talk about it on a podcast and I can’t wait to pick it up.  

Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So YOU Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Rachel Hollis)
I loved this book. Rachel outlines the lies she once believeand how she overcame them. Her stories are hilarious, personal, serious, and heart-wrenching. This is a bestseller for a reason. Pick up this book! 

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.  (Rachel Hollis)
The beat of inspiration in this book will become the soundtrack in your head as you think about your goals, set up real steps to achieve them, and feel motivated to go big.  

Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World (Lisa Bevere)
Lisa wakes women up to their calling and gives them the inspiration to change their world.  

Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying It When You Want to Burn it All Down (Sophie Hudson)
This is on my list of books to read. I’ve read Sophie’s other books and she is hilarious and inspiring. and a great storyteller. This read has to be a good one.  

Everything is Figureoutable (Marie Forleo)
I’ve listened to Maria’s podcast and she is the real deal. There’s a reason why I listen to her motivational podcasts while I run. So, I’m excited to read her encouragement in her newest book. 

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People (Bob Goff)
Bob helps us all discover how incredibly important our lives are and the type of huge impact we can make in our corner of the world. This book will make you feel inspired and happy. 

“I need direction ” best inspirational books for mothers

The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions (Emily Freeman)
 I struggle so much with making both big and small decision. Whether you have decision fatigue (often a result of low-grade daily anxiety) or complete decision paralysis, this book will help you. In it, you’ll untangle the art of making decisions, gain a renewed perspective and feel more confident. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it twice and underlined 50% of the sentences. I highly recommend it.  

100 Days to Be Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self (Annie Downs)
This daily devotional was one of my favorites. The daily words on being brave lit my heart on fire and empowered me to choose to live in courage.  

Own Your Life: living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (Sally Clarkson)
I admire how Sally lives life her way. Meaning, in deep faith, she follows God’s call even if it goes against the grain. (Like some examples of how she parents.) If you want to take a more thoughtful look at your own life and move forward more intentionally, this book is for you.  

Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking (Priscilla Shirer)
This is on my list of books to read. I’ve read Priscilla’s work before and have heard her speak – she’s amazing! 

Do It Scared: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Adversity, and Create a Life You Love (Ruth Soukup)
This book is sitting on my nightstand to read. I listen to Ruth’s podcasts and love how in 20 minutes I can feel empowered and inspired. I truly have used her phrase “do it scare” to hit publish on this blog, get on the treadmill, or in other areas of my life.  

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (Bob Goff)
I loved this book. Bob Goff tells stories that point you to see God move and guide you in the ordinary. Though the book is more about seeing God in the ordinary, what Bob says about “God’s will for your life” was life-giving, direction-leading thought. I had a total aha moment with this book! 

“I need to laugh” best inspirational books for mothers 

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards (Jen Hatmaker)
Jen Hatmaker is the funniest author ever. She weaves faith and mom life into hilarious tales that will make you laugh and grow your wisdom.  

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight out of This Wild and Glorious Life (Jen Hatmaker)
Again – Jen writes hilarious, inspirational, thought-provoking books just for moms. I always enjoy her tales.  

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon (Sophie Hudson)
Sophie is also so funny. She tells stories of life that will take the edge off of a bad day, make you laugh and inspire your faith.  

Fierce Free and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You  (Jen Hatmaker)
This is Jen’s newest book and it’s on my list to read. I always love Jen’s humor – so I read everything she writes.  

Home is Where My People Are: The Roads that Lead Us to Where We Belong (Sophie Hudson)
Again – faith-filled, hilarious stories you will love.  

“I want to be inspired to be more creative” best inspirational books for mothers 

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live (Emily P. Freeman)
If you are not convinced that God designed us to be creative, this book will change your mind. You’ll be inspired to pick up that artistic expression you’ve been longing to do and go for it with absolute joy. I loved how Emily taught us creativity through the lens of God’s design for our lives. This book is so good.  

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott)
Anne shares both her writing journal, her tips on being a writer. The book reads like a story, yet through it you’ll increase your knowledge on how to be a better writer.  

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Elizabeth Gilbert)
This book doesn’t have a religious affiliation (and she writer drops the F-bomb a bit), but I lenmy copy to my pastor’s wife and she liked it, so there’s that. This book I found incredibly inspirational – you’ll fall more in love with your craft because of Elizabeth’s word.  

“I want to get healthy” best inspirational books for mothers

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (Lysa TerKeurst)
I read this book and found it an interesting way to get yourself back in shape. She makes eating well, exercising and losing weight into a spiritual experience. This book isn’t for everyone, but it just might be for you.  

books for mothers

“I want to grow my faith” best inspirational books for moms 

Chasing God (Angie Smith)
If you feel like you are always chasing God, but you don’t actually know him, then this book is for you! It will open your eyes to seeing how God meets you right where you’re at, in the simple, every day.  

Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity (Jen Hatmaker) 
Jen opened my eyes to see the world around me through the eyes of Jesus. Meaning, she challenged me to notice people who aren’t like me. (And celebrate them.) She also challenges us to give in bigger ways that are out of our comfort zone. This book will grow your faith and change your perspective in a very good way.  

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children (Sally Clarkson)
I was over-the-moon with this book when I read it. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom and Sally opened my eyes to see how important my work was being with my littles. As I parent older kids, I still carry her words with me. All mommas, read this book! 

The Organic God (Margaret Feinberg)
This is absolutely one of my favorite books. Margaret tells beautiful stories that help you better understand who God is and see Him working all around you.  

UnsuperMommy: Release Expectation, Embrace Imperfection, and Connect to God’s Superpower (Maggie Combs)
Maggie does a great job of walking moms through the holy experience of motherhood. She gives moms a ton of grace and encouragement. This is a quick read and an uplifting experience.  

Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God (Bianca Olthoff)
As you read Bianca’s story of growing her own faith, you’ll find a piece of yourself somewhere along the way. What I remember most about this book is being completely overcome with a real-lifeprayed-for miracle that happened. There is a real God who loves us and fights for us and Bianca helps you know Him more.  

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, as you Are. (Shauna Niequist)
This is a daily devotional that helps you find joy and faith in ordinary life. When I bought this book, I didn’t realize it was a devotional. I was disappointed because I don’t normally read daily devotionals. But I read it anyway and found it to be lovely. I was glad I picked it up. 

Table Life – Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus in Your Home (Joanne Thompson)
Reading this book gave me a fresh perspective on how sacred the dinner table is and the ministry that flows from it.  

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith (Barbara Brown Taylor)
A friend lent me this, but I ended up buying my own copy so I could highlight it up! Barbara Brown Taylor is a former minister with a gift for teaching about faith. I think you’ll love this book too.  

Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks (Pricilla Shirer) 
I haven’t read this, but I’ve listened to Priscilla’s podcasts and have done her Bible studies. I love her! 

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God (Margaret Feinberg)
I crave reading these kinds of books that open my eyes to see a living, breathing God who daily surrounds us. This was an easy read that lifted my heart.  

The Power of a Praying Parent Book of Prayers (Stormie Omartian)
I can’t read Stormie’s books at night because her written-out prayers hold such power, love, and inspiration, that I get excited about praying for my family and can’t sleep! This is a great morning book. 

Seeing Beautiful Again: 50 Devotions to Find Redemption in Every Part of Your Story 
“Lysa TerKeurst shares how she processed seasons of disappointment and heartbreak, while inviting you to hope again.” (Amazon description)

Known By His Names: A 365-Day Journey From The Beginning to The Amen
Through the 365 names of God that are taught, I learned how much God loves us and how intimately He is involved in all of our lives. I love this devotional!

“I need a friend” best inspirational books for moms 

Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom (Elisabeth Hasselbeck)
Elisabeth walks you through her season on the popular reality television show Survivor, her decade on The View, and her few years at Fox News. The tone of this book is friend-like, casual, and vulnerable. Elisabeth shares her story of life and faith with you – it’s refreshing and uplifting.  

Finding the Bright Side: The Art of Chasing What Matters (Shannon Bream) 
Shannon shares her journey of beauty pageants (competing on a National level), law school, becoming a popular news broadcaster, her husband’s cancer battle, and her decision not to have kids. In it all, she shares how her journey has deepened her faith. You feel like you’re talking to a friend.  

Brave Love: Making Space for You to Be you (Lisa Leonard)
Even though I don’t know Lisa personally, I’ve ordered a ton of her jewelry and got to be on her book launch team. This book tells her story of how she built her wildly successful business, her journey with parenting a special needs son, her perseverance through marital strife, and how she conquers life. 

Becoming (Michelle Obama)
Where do I start with this book? No matter what your political stance is, Michelle Obama is your girl. Honest, vulnerable, and incredibly likable, I ate up this book. I walked away feeling encouraged and inspired. (And like I could do anything!)

“I need to relate to my kid better” best inspirational books for moms 

Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him (Sally Clarkson and Nathan Clarkson)
Sally’s son Nathan grew up with some serious mental health issues. Both Nathan and Sally tell how they learned to better connect and understand each other. Nathan shares his story of learning about himself and growing into a thriving, happy adult. Then Sally shares the mom side of his journey. This story is a tear-jerker and will help you see your challenging child as the blessing that he (or she) already is.  

“Help me overcome perfectionism” best inspirational books for moms 

Why Your Best is Good Enough (Kevin Leman)
I love the wisdom and humor of psychologist, Kevin Lehman. This book was one of my favorites that he’s written. (And I’ve read many!)  Amazon review says, “Dr. Kevin Leman helps those who struggle with self-doubt to value their talents and gifts and accept their shortcomings. He points out why the lifestyle we develop as a child determines our degree of success or failure and explains how, regardless of the past, each person can develop a healthy lifestyle today.” 

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Brené Brown) 
Often, we see “perfection” as life’s gift, but really “imperfection” is what connects us with others and transforms us in wonderful ways. Brené’s words gave me the confidence to pursue purpose instead of perfect, quit being so hard on myself, and live life with more joy.  

Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith (Karen Ehman)
Karen’s work is delightful to read. Here writing style will both teach you and make you laugh. (She’s funny!) Be inspired by her journey to let it go!  

Your Turn: What are your favorite books for mothers?

What motivational and inspirational books did I miss? What have you read lately that has moved your heart? Leave your thoughts in the comments.  

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You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s a fantastic life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

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Read the Full Series on Self-Care & Inspiration for Moms

Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!

I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she has been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”

Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…

God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”

For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care and other inspiration for moms.

Self-care & Inspiration for Moms Series

INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
7 Christian Meditations for Busy Moms Just Like You
Best Podcasts Every Mom Needs to Hear
5 Best Relaxing Songs to Make Your Day Better
Need Hope? Look for it – Hope will Always Come Back to You

SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Moms Need a Break and Good Things Can Come of It

mom summit 3

Put the ME Back in Mommy Summit: How to Find Time in Busy Mom Life to do What You Love – Guilt Free!

(Inside: Join the FREE online mom summit! Listen to the 20+ experts who will encourage, inspire, motivate and give you lots of freebies!

 

 

Summit Presentation: How to Find Time to do What You Love (Without Feeling Guilty About It)

It was so fun to present at the Put the Me Back in Mommy Summit hosted by Isabelle Bridges. (I found out AFTER THE FACT that Isabelle is the daughter of actor Jeff Bridges. So, yup – she’s humble like that.)

I talk about How to Find Time to Do What You Love (Without Feeling Guilty About it). I discuss: 

  • My epic mom-crash. 
  • Why taking me-time is not just important – it’s vital! 
  • How to let go of the mom-guilt. 
  • How to find more actual time in your busy day. 
  • How to maximize that time. 
  • If you are in the season of parenting where you need to hear empowerment to find time to do what you love, this message is for you. (Side note: not every message is for every season. Read more about that here.)


The summit is now over, but you can watch the replay below…

How to Deal with Difficult People (And not lose your mind!)

(Inside: Dealing with difficult people can be hard. But this one mindset and one action can help turn a struggling relationship into a thriving relationship.)

It’s been 2 weeks since my friend has spoken to me, even though I’ve seen her a hundred times in the time span.

Awesome, right?

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve clashed with someone. In the stress, I can think: Why are people hard to please? Why can people get stuck in a cycle of negativity and not see the disheartening impact they have on others? Why are people so difficult? However, even though I entertain those thoughts, I still hate when people are upset with me. It brings out two sides of me…

The People-Pleaser

I want to smooth the waters at the expense of my self-respect and sanity. I can be like Monica on Friends when she forgets to invite Rachel’s mom to Rachel’s baby shower. She follows Rachel’s mom around the party dishing out unmeaningful compliments and trying to win back the approval of Rachel’s not-going-to-let-it-go mom. I cringe every time I see a rerun of that episode because the groveling Monica can be exactly me.

In this circumstance: please, self-respect, stay strong…Don’t. Let. Me. Stoop. That. Low.

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The Grudge Holder

Or I become any main character in any old western movie. You done me wrong and my gun-slinging, tobacco-spitting self never wants to talk to you again. Am I over it, you ask? Ask me in two years – because it for sure won’t be any sooner than that. Even if you’re my next-door neighbor, I will find a way to make you invisible in my life. You hurt me once, so you’ll never be let back in. Then I ride off into the sunset without looking back.

In conflict, how do I be the person I want to be?

In this situation, I believe 110% in my actions. I’d go further to say, that I know my choices were best and would unapologetically make the same decision again – even knowing my friend’s extremely negative reaction.

Having difficult people in your life can be hard. Knowing how to respond to them can be even harder.

When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to get better at the mile. I ran it in 7 minutes 20 seconds. Now, I know that’s not amazing, but I was no track star. However, I was tired of trailing in the middle to back-of-the-pack during meets – I wanted to be top 3. Here’s the problem: I only wanted to get better in my mind. I didn’t change my workout routines. I didn’t research methods to run faster. Heck, I didn’t even tell my coach my goal.  It’s not surprising my mile time stayed stagnant. Dealing with difficult people can be like that, I say I want to do better except I never do anything about it to actually get better. But not this time.

I wanted to learn and grow in this conflict. I didn’t want to cave, hold a grudge or let the situation irrationally bother me  – it’s okay to be in a disagreement. So, I asked God for help. And He revealed two powerful points of wisdom, first in the mindset I should have and second in the actions, I should take.

how to deal with difficult people

*This blog post contains affiliate links*

A Mindset to Take When Dealing with Difficult People

A couple of days after the initial clashing, I sat around a table of about 20 women listening to Maggie Combs share about her book Unsupermommy. The Minnesota roads were icy, the snow piled high and the cold air told me to stay home. But something in my heart urged me: Cheryl, just go to book club.  Maggie began to describe her struggles as a mom – and in her story said something that’s given me life when dealing with difficult people. She kept talking about her desire to have God on the throne of her heart.

Think about what happens to our hearts when we’re in a conflict. This is what wants to sit on my heart’s throne:

  • Pride – I want to be well-liked. (Hello, impossible!) Or, it’s my way or the highway, I’ll listen to your ideas, but I’m not doing them. (Me riding off into the sunset.)
  • Grudge Holding – Never speak to me again…bu-bye,  sweet Felicia.
  • Self-pity – I don’t deserve this…
  • Anger – Let me spew out something I’ll regret. (Then feel guilty about it later. Fantastic.)
  • Anxiety – All the stress!


If you’ve watched every episode of Victoria and The Crown like me, then you know throne rooms. They are elegant and beautiful and made for fine clothes and fine people. As I went through my day – this situation swirling in my brain – I kept picturing Jesus sitting on the elegant throne of my heart. His grace, his love, his hope. Nothing else. When I started to feel prideful, I’d imagine pride on the throne and felt repulsed. When I felt anger, I’d look up to see anger on the throne and he looked unfit. When self-pity was on my throne, she got on my nerves. And anxiety…well, don’t even get me started on the loathing I have for anxiety…

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

When dealing with difficult people, put God on his throne and don’t let Him move. Because, friends, this is how we are supposed to do life. With God. Our feelings can overwhelm us, but God’s truths are stationary. When Jesus is on the throne, it automatically keeps pride, self-pity, anger, and anxiety at our feet – where they should be. Jesus on the throne in our hearts gives us the healthy mindset we need to deal with difficult people with grace and dignity.

An Action to Take When Dealing with Difficult People

I picked up Bob Goff’s book Everybody Always and these words jumped off the page.

“When I meet someone who is hard to get along with, I think, Can I love that person for the next thirty seconds? Why they continue to irritate me, I find myself counting silently….twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine…and before I get to thirty, I say to myself, Okay, I’m going to love that person for thirty more seconds.  I try and love the person in front of my they way Jesus did for the next thirty seconds rather than merely agree with Jesus and avoid them entirely, which I am sad to say comes easier to me. I try and see difficult people in front of me for who they could become someday, and I keep reminding myself about this possibility for thirty seconds at a time.”

Bob Goff’s words said to me: This is what you should do when dealing with difficult people. You need to love them 30 seconds at a time. Meaning, your actions need to reflect love for them.

It doesn’t mean you have to agree…

It doesn’t mean you have to approve of them…

And it definitely doesn’t mean you need to let them walk all over you… (Boundaries are important.)

but you do need to love them. Sometimes that starts with simply trying not to say something that you will have to apologize for later. Then as time passes and emotions simmer, we extend kindness. We imagine the best version of the difficult individual, and we treat them like they are becoming that person. We operate from a place of hope. It’s hard. But, we’re called to do hard things. So, that’s what we do, friends, we love difficult people 30 seconds at a time. Because if we can love for 30 seconds. Then, you know what? We can love for 30 more…

What kind of person do you want to be? What type of community do we want to live in?

As I was working on ways to deal with this difficult person in my life a thought struck me that almost made me laugh. This person I was clashing with…I bet on her side she’s asking God how to deal with me. Maybe she’s not talking to me because she’s praying she doesn’t say anything she’ll regret. I mean, I am aware that I CAN HAVE MY MOMENTS. (Face in palms.)

I hope she is praying for patience and understanding and grace. And I hope she gets it. Because I want to live in a community where people see the best in me and extend grace. At some point in our lives, we will deal with difficult people or be a difficult person.  But we can all leverage our situations to grow wiser, stronger, and into better people because of it. Then we do hard things – like extend grace. And receive it when it’s extended to us as well.

When you’re dealing with difficult people, 8 minutes a day of silence and prayer can be very powerful.

 I wrote a mini-eBook that explains this idea more and guides us through Christian meditation. It’s called Meditations for Moms: Renewal and Empowerment in 8 Minutes a Day.

I hope it gives you life in the same way it’s helped me work through big emotions as I redirect my focus on the One who is in control of it all.

Related Article: Teach Your Kids to Be Kind in Difficult Situations

Read more in the full thrive in difficult relationships and situations series:

Why can’t I get along with this person, I’m good with people. People are my thing. Why has this year been filled with not this difficult relationship, but hard relationships with an “s?”

I had a year when relationships with three people I cared about unraveled. I had just come out of healing from a miscarriage and being cut from a job I loved (student numbers were down and they cut the lowest tenured teacher). And just when I thought I’d put my life back together and found my way, here I was struggling with not situations, but people.

What a season.

It caused me to explore situations and relationships and figure out how to find peace, healing, and forgiveness in tough times.

THRIVE IN DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIPS & SITUATIONS SERIES
I’m in a Funk: A Powerful Mindset to Overcome Your Challenge
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Moms, How to Prepare for a Fight


HEAL YOUR HURT SERIES
I’m So Hurt: What Healing Sometimes Looks Like
When Life Knocks You Down & You’re Tired of Your Struggle
Miscarriage Grief: 5 Reasons Why a Miscarriage is so Emotionally Painful

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below.

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how to deal with difficult people

Best Podcasts Every Mom Needs to Hear

(Inside: 8 best podcasts for moms that will motivate women. Accomplish more and meet your goals by listening to these inspirational podcasts for women. ) 

 

The pile of plates teetered as I  carried them from my kitchen to the dining room. Next, I grabbed the stacks of Tupperware, mismatched bottoms and tops thrown together looking like the Eiffel tower in shambles and not the neat rows I’d vowed to keep them in. I made infinite trips emptying my cabinets – a tedious job, that…get this… 

 

I WAS ACTUALLY ENJOYING. 

 

No, I hadn’t taken a crazy pill or downed way too much coffee. So, then what was tricking my brain into enjoying emptying cabinets and prepping them for painting? What made this task – can I dare to say – ahem…inspirational? 

 

Empowering podcasts and videos. (I refer to the videos as podcasts because I only listened to them.) I filled the airwaves with encouraging words that pumped motivation through my veins. Here’s what my heart soaked in:  

  • How to see motherhood as a marathon where achieving goals can happen – just not in ten minutes, but over an intentional lifetime.  
  • A thought process to promote contentment and gratitude for what I have instead of going down the alluring rabbit hole of “not enough.” 
  • Confidence in being okay that I am not the “perfect mom” for my kids: I am the type of mom who is overemotional, can drop the ball then goes back to being overemotional about it.  (It’s good for my kids to see me deal with the bumps of life in a healthy way.)  

 

Y’all – this evacuation of my kitchen took 3 hours. Bending, carrying, wiping, and vacuuming. I was dog-tired. But only physically. My spirit felt refreshed because that’s what listening to 3 hours of some of the best podcasts for moms will do for you.   

 

Do you want to feel empowered too? What encouragement do you need to hear? I got you, friend. There is something that will speak directly to you below. Listen while you cook or drive or fold laundry. Then feel free to pass on empowerment through sharing this post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

*This blog post contains affiliate links.*

 

 

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #1: 

 

When you need to stop trying to “have it all.” 

We want to have it all. We do. Of. Course. We. Do. We want to have amazing careers, foster strong marriages, and be epic mothers. Here’s the thing – we can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time. Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint. There might be seasons where we don’t pursue our dreams and only focus on home, but later in life (whether your kids are out of your house or not), the door opens for us to go for that aspiration that’s been quietly pulsing in our hearts like…forever.  

 

 

When you need to stop stressing that you’re not setting a good enough example of a “perfect life well lived” for your kids. 

Moms, we’re going to lose relationships, jobs, patience and let’s get real honest here: peace of mind. Try and live the perfect life, I absolutely dare you, but just when you think you are killing it at your career, someone will tell you your project you know you nailed in fact, stunk. But in professional terms – because we polish it up for work. Then your kids sense your humiliation and overhear you telling your spouse you stink at your job. Not exactly the example of the empowered woman you’re going for. (Face in palms.) But listen – and for the love please hear me…how we handle our bumps our empowering life lessons for our kids. 

 

This raw interview with Maria Shriver addresses both trying to have it all and the imperfect example you set for your kids. After listening to her candid words, I felt empowered in both of these areas.  

Listen to Podcast 1

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #2: 

 

Is your family not your “dream family?” 

Yes, we all love our people – I’m not saying any of us are ungrateful for the human beings God gave us. No, no, no…but, maybe we’d envisioned our family in a “certain way.” We didn’t plan on a special needs kid, but we’re raising one. We wanted to raise sons and only have girls. We wanted five kids but the five pregnancies only gave us two babies. We wanted biological children but created our family through adoption.  We desired sixty plus years of marriage but instead are in a blended family. These podcasts talk about amazing, smart, fulfilled women who shaped their God-given, beautiful families with an open heart. Be inspired by them.  

Listen to Podcast 2

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #3: 

Do you stress your kids will resent you working?  

 Yes, me too. My heart always wants to be available for my kids. My head tells me that teaching I’m called to do. In this Ted Talk, a daughter talks about how proud she is of her working mom. (And I have to admit, I’ve overheard my elementary-age sons tell their friends with puffed out chests that their mom teaches HIGH SCHOOL. *Heart. Melting.*) 

Listen to Podcast 3

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #4: 

When you’re physically tired from motherhood. 

We all know motherhood is a gift, but it also gives us narcolepsy. No joke. I never knew I could actually fall dead asleep at 6 pm until I started raising kids. (Who am I kidding – I try and do call the day done right after dinner but, “maaaaawwwmmmm, I need…”) Sometimes we need our tired bodies to feel again what our head knows: motherhood is an epic gift. Let this Ted Talk reignite your heart and refuel your body:  

Listen to Podcast 4

 

best podcasts for moms

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #5: 

 You’re itching to be creative, but how can you in all the busyness? 

All of us need a creative outlet and that doesn’t mean we have to craft. We can introduce creativity into parenting, our jobs, our home life…etc.  Liz Gilbert expands on this topic and ignites me to better enjoy the mundane parts of my life through creativity.  

Why you don’t need to plan excessive activities for your kids.  

I cave with video games way more than I’d like too. (“Because I’m booooored mom!”)  Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how childhood boredom shaped her into a good writer.  Parents – we don’t have to continually Pinterest it up for our kids. Kids grow in amazing, healthy and did I say amazing ways through boredom. Remind your kids that, then drop the mic.   

Listen to Podcast 5

 

Best Podcasts for Moms #6: 

 

You feel guilty about being a stay-at-home mom in a world of working women.  

Cameron Candance Bure should have continued to pursue her career after her hit show Full House ended. The child actress was then a young adult and, you know –  Hollywood likes them young. Hollywood worships them young. But instead, she let her golden career slip through her fingers to raise babies. Crazy girl! Except she wasn’t crazy because she pulled off a huge comeback in her late-thirties, just when she should be drying up. Let her inspire you to go with your heart and stay home if you want to. Believe an enticing career will be waiting for you when the time is right.

Listen to Podcast 6

Best Podcasts for Moms #7: 

 When your brain is in a mom-funk.   

It happens to all moms – the mom funk. Sometimes we can’t put a finger on it, we’re not depressed, we don’t have low self-confidence but ugh – our brains feel yucky. It just that there’s so much to do, to worry about and to be responsible for, that the mom-funk creeps in for a day or two, like the common cold, and makes us feel blah.  No need to freak or decide we have huge issues – we sometimes just need to do one thing: focus on gratitude. God breathes a holy quality into gratitude. It’s like Robitussin for our mental health. Watch this for a mental lift.  

 Listen to Podcast 7 


Best Podcasts for Moms #8: 

 When you need to laugh. 

We all need to laugh and this viral mom-song by Anita Renfroe will not disappoint. Why is it still funny the tenth time you view it?

 Listen to Podcast 8 

 

 

I’ve set tucked the plates back into the cupboards, stacked the Tupperware in a neat tower, and renewed my vow to keep the spaces tidy. But, the kitchen isn’t done. The doors are drying and need to be sanded and painted again before we carefully rehang them. But when it’s time to put everything all back together – I know what I’ll be listening to. But what about you? Which best podcast for moms with both help you get through a chore and empower you today? 

 


Read the Full Series on Self-Care & Inspiration for Moms

Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!

I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”

Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…

God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”

For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care:

INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
7 Christian Meditations for Busy Moms Just Like You
60+ Encouraging and Inspirational Best Books for Mothers
Need Hope? Look for it – Hope will Always Come Back to You

SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Good Parenting Skills: The Single Best Thing Parents Can Do

 

best podcasts for moms

 

[bctt tweet=”Laundry becomes lessons, cooking creates clarity, washing grows wisdom, and the mundane becomes inspirational through these best podcasts for moms. Read on… #momlife #podcasts #motherhood #inspiration” username=”@cheryldonely”]


 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community HERE.

Join this Community (FREE!)  

 

 

best podcasts for moms

 

5 Best Relaxing Songs to Make Your Day Better

(Inside: Best relaxing songs to calm your racing-mom-brain and renew your energy. Here is a relaxing songs playlist of 5 of my favorite music to calm and soothe.)

My son’s head lay on my arm as his little body nestled into the curve of mine. He drifted off to sleep against me, glad I’d stayed with him for a few minutes after his tuck-in.

As my son nodded off, I did the exact opposite.

I stared at shadows, replayed the day, added to my to-do list…  As I let my thoughts wander, I could feel the stress building up. My stomach knotted as I thought of the stack of high school papers left to grade.  I remembered the next morning I’d be forgoing my early-morning-me-time because my son needed to be at middle school early to retake his math test. (Bear in mind, I am a math teacher – let that irony sink in.) With each thought, I tensed up a little more.

Then a song popped on my son’s radio that halted my attention…

“Lord I need you, oh I need you…”

The relaxing song coaxed me to pay attention. To quit looking in, but instead, look up…

“Every hour, I need you…”

I felt myself flip my hand to an upward position. My palm lay flat representing my open heart…and open ears as it faced heaven.

There was a warmth in the air…a presence of the holy spirit as I simply repeated the words songs like a prayer, “Lord, I need you, oh I need you.”

The gripping stress began to crack and fall off like acorns from a tree.

“Every hour, I need you…”

The words washed over me. I took in deep breaths…five seconds in, hold for a minute, then five seconds out. Slowly, very slowly…

Then, I continued laying still with open palms towards my Maker and an open heart letting the truths of the lyrics pour in. My brain began to remember that this life is about so much more than my worries, the things that give me stress. My worries couldn’t compete with that kind of wonder. That kind of attention-getting and soothing feelings from our Creator.

As the song came to a close, I could feel my son breathing sleep against my arm. I slinked my arm out from under him and slipped out of the room.

I felt peace.

I felt refreshed.

And I felt the power of a God who loves us enough to comfort me through music.

best relaxing songs
These 7 meditations for moms can also help relieve stress and for perspective to grow.

5 Best Songs to Make Your Day Better

Have you been there too? Letting the busyness of life overwhelm you?  Feeling guilty about something?  Or in pain? Try the technique I stumbled upon: lay in your bed, put your palms up and let God comfort you through one (or all) of these songs.

When you need direction

“When I try and pray, all I get is hurt, and these four words…thy…will…be…done…”

When you need forgiveness

“There’s nothing too dirty…that God can’t make worthy…”

When you need to be reminded you are not alone

“Now the lights are on…I see you were never gone…”

When you’re looking for peace

“It is well, with my soul.”

When you need a friend

“Lord, I need you oh I need you…”

Your Turn: What are your favorite best relaxing songs?

What did I miss? What are your favorite best relaxing songs? Leave them in the comments or send me an email. (Find my email in the about section of this page.) 

Read the Full Series on Self-Care & Inspiration for Moms

Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!

I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she has been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”

Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…

God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”

For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care and other inspiration for moms.

Self-care & Inspiration for Moms Series

INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
Christian Meditations for Busy Moms Just Like You
60+ Encouraging and Inspirational Best Books for Mothers
Need Hope? Look for it – Hope will Always Come Back to You


SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Good Parenting Skills: The Single Best Thing Parents Can Do

best relaxing songs

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting big kids.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below. 

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Momma, Should You Write? (Or Start a Blog?)

(Inside: Should you start a blog? Should you write? Read my journey of starting a blog and get tips that will help you start writing and blogging with confidence.)

 

 

“I want to be a writer.”

 

I gently rocked my nursing son (middle child) in the middle of the night. That’s the exact moment the writer-thought popped into my head.

 

Which is slightly surprising given that I’m a high school math teacher. Graphing parabolas? Easy-peezy. Word problems? Tell about which direction that train is going and at what speed. But, writing…I mean…being serious about writing? Well, this direction is new. 

 

So here I was – in the narcoleptic-tired mom state, sitting in a rocker crammed in our small townhome’s hallway (the only spot upstairs to nurse with the light on and not disturb my sleeping husband and toddler), with a math degree in my back pocket, making this decision.

 

Life is weird.

 

But life is also full of life-enriching surprises. I’ve loved writing for Empowered Moms and Kids. (I also write at Extravagant Hope). I’ve been published on Huffington Post and Today Parents. Writing also ties well with my side-gig of speaking at moms groups and church groups. (Speaking I always knew I wanted to do.)

 

It’s brought out a creative side I didn’t realize I had, grown my perspective, and stretched me in healthy ways. Writing has helped me connect deeper with people who share openly with me after they’ve read something I’d written. It’s landed me in circles I never thought I’d be in but am a better person because of it. (Like, my writing group!) Writing hasn’t disappointed.

 

What about you? Do you have an inkling in your heart to put words on paper? Your story. Your perspective. Do you want to get it out there? You’re not alone, there’s a whole tribe of women writers who are thriving and there’s room for you at the table. If you’re thinking, “Should I write?” follow my journey and see if writing is for you.

 

**This blog post contains both Amazon affiliate links and course affiliate links.**

 

Take up reading. (If you haven’t already.)

When I rocked my nursing baby at o’dark hundred deciding I wanted to write – I knew it wasn’t going to happen just then. I didn’t have the time (or desire) to maintain a blog, plus I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about. So, I decided my author-starting-place would be with rekindling my love of reading. I figured this was the best way to brush up on grammar, sentence structure, plot, and storyline. (Plus, this would help me stay awake while I nursed in the middle of the night. And in the morning. And in the afternoon. Brain fog..all…the…time…)

 

So, I went to the library and wiped the recommended book table clean. And every chance I got I read, read, read…

 

In it, I stumbled across Jen Hatmaker’s Out of the Spin Cycle and howled! Brilliant and hilarious, I felt like I’d just hung out with a friend who was available at 11 pm. 1 am. 3 am. And again at 5 am. That’s the genre I decided I wanted to write: empowering lessons learned from life.

 

What I’d recommend:
  • Buy the books instead of checking them out from the library so you can underline interesting ways authors string words together, make notes and study writing styles. (But I couldn’t afford that and if you can’t, I get you.)
  • Keep a journal/notebook/app to write down all the interesting ways authors string words together as you read. It gives you a nice place to look at creative ways of wording when you do start to write.

 

 


 

Practice Writing

In the 5 years of reading and deciding my genre (with writing in the back of my mind) and raising 3 small kids, I decided I wanted to start a blog – nothing fancy, just for practice.

So, I  started a free blog on Blogger, simply to post pictures and write a few things for my family to see. Nothing else. No stress. My sister and cousin both maintained a family blog, so we’d check out each others’ pages and comment – I loved it. It reinforced that I like to write.

Next, I was involved in MOPS and they had a small magazine called MomSense. (Now, called Hello Darling.) So, I submitted two articles, one about friendships and the other about exercise. MomSense published both of them. Like, IN PRINT. I couldn’t believe it – it felt like more confirmation to move forward.

I also wrote for the small newsletter our MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group printed. It was the Leadership team contributing fun articles, recipes, life-hacks, and making copies in the church office, but still, it felt great. I liked coming up with interesting articles that encouraged our group.

If I were to go back to this phase of practice writing, I’d do some things the same and some things differently.

What I’d recommend:
  • I would take Suzi from Start a Mom Blog’s course on how to start a blog called Blog By Number. It’s a great way to start thinking about where to take your writing, especially if you are not sure, it’s totally worth the investment. You learn:
    • different blog types
    • choosing a blog name
    • ways to make money
    • the technical part of setting up the site.
    • And much more!
  • If you’re all in on this blogging thing, I’d skip the Blog by Number course and buy ALL of Start a Mom Blog’s courses in this VIP Bundle. I absolutely think it’s worth it!
  • Find places to write:
    • Guest post on blogs like Mom Life Happy Life.  To post on Mom Life Happy Life, you need to take this $9 course that teaches you how.
    • Can you write for your mom-group newsletter, somewhere in your job, send out the emails for your kid’s school PTO group?
    • Publish your writing as a post on Facebook. Get a feel for how you liked that and what the reaction was.

 

 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens HERE. 

 

 

Connect with other writers

In a stroke of luck, I met a mom on my son’s kindergarten field trip who wrote a novel. (Just for fun, it wasn’t published.) She was forming a writing group (read more here) and I was in. We all write completely different genres, but it enriches our group in infinite measure. Once a month, we’d read each other’s work, give honest feedback (even when it was hard!) and cheer each other on.

One of the writers in our group, Dylann Crush, just published her first romance novel. She did it the hard way, submitted her writing to a billion different agents until a New York agent took her (yay!), and then nothing happened.  (More sending out transcripts. We’re a couple of years into this process now.) A California agent took her on board and the rest is history. You can buy her book at Walmart and Barnes & Noble people…it’s cray-cray. Dreams do come true.

What I’d recommend:
  • Find friends who want to start a writing group with you. Even if it’s just one friend, the time away to talk and learn is immeasurably helpful.
  • Sometimes this doesn’t work, don’t be discouraged. Check out some online writing groups – or skip this piece, it’s not a must, but a really nice bonus if it does work out.

 

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Get serious (Should I write? YES!)

Okay, I’d read, started a practice blog, and had my team in a 5-year span. I knew I wanted to write about so it was time to get serious. I started a free blog called Since I Became a Mom and wrote for another 5 years in it. I experienced success but felt I needed to put some money into learning the “business” aspect of blogging. What a game-changer that was for me.

 

Take some blogging courses. (Totally worth it!)

 

Kelly Holmes from Sticky Blogging Courses:

I love Kelly’s style of teaching. She does all the research for you and gives you the main points you need to apply to your blog. Her courses you will enjoy, even in your busy-no-real-time-for-it life.

Sticky Blogging – This course teaches you how to create content that will keep people coming back to your page. It’s a game-changer. This is the number one course I’d recommend!

SEO Optimization – Everyone hates SEO. (Please, google, just let me write a blog post and you show it to everyone. Okay? Okay. Bye-bye, now.) But, you gotta learn it. Kelly teaches specifically how to make SEO work with your blog. It’s incredibly helpful. She’s offering this now with big bonuses if you sign up ASAP.

Course by Number – Offer courses from your blog.

 

Suzi from Start a Mom Blog Courses:

I really like Suzi, she’s so real. She says things like “Get over being perfect and be real. Hit publish, you can make an impact without being 100% polished.” That girl speaks to my heart. If I had to do it again, I would pay the money for Suzi’s VIP bundle with ALL of her courses. But, since I learned as I went, I bought:

Other amazing courses she offers:

Start your blog right!

Like I mentioned before, I blogged for free on Blogger as Since I Became a Mom for almost 5 years. (If you’re keeping track – 5 years reading/practicing, 5 years writing Since I Became a Mom on Blogger…I’m a decade in now.) The free blog site had limitations and I didn’t like my blog name anymore. After learning so much from the courses, I knew I needed to transfer my blog to a self-hosted WordPress site. (I did lots of research on this, save yourself time and just go with it.)

Here are the steps:

1. Buy a domain name from GoDaddy.com
2. Set up a hosting site that holds your blog with SiteGround. (They have the BEST free live tech support!) Then SiteGround will help you set up your self-hosted WordPress site.

(Again, I would recommend the Blog By Number course. It will save you so much time…and pain.)

 

What I’d recommend:
  • Spend money on some courses – you won’t regret it!
  • Start your blog right – set up a self-hosted Word Press site. You can easily walk away if it’s not for you, but transferring a blog…what a pain!

 

Share

This is the equally fun and hard part. My heart raced the first time I hit “share” on Facebook. I waited for the laughter. (What is the math teacher doing with words?) But, I received the opposite. People showed encouragement and support. So much support! I even got speaking gigs out of blogging. My adventure has been good. No…it’s been great.

What I’d recommend:
  • Set up your social media sites and share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (I don’t do Snapchat.)
  • Focus on Pinterest. It’s a popular search engine that will keep your blog posts relevant. Sign up for Tailwind to schedule posts and save yourself tons of time!
  • Share, share, share!
  • Then promise me this, don’t worry about likes or numbers – you can’t, it just isn’t worth it. If you enjoy writing, just write and share. The end.

 

I’m way past the nursing babies stage, but I’m never past the dreaming stage. I don’t know where my writing will take me, but it’s all okay – because this writing journey…it’s worth it. And if you’re still wondering if you should write, I say, yes! FOR SURE YES! Writing will enrich your life in ways you’d never expect. I challenge you – share your story too and see where it takes you…

 

[bctt tweet=”Writing will enrich your life in ways you’d never expect. I challenge you – share your story too and see where it takes you… Read on… #writers #bloggers #authors #moms” username=”@cheryldonely”]

 

 

should you start a blog

 

 

Continue to build your confidence to write and share your words through reading the full “Confidence to be You” Series

Confidence to be You Series:
4 Things You Need to Be a Strong, Joy-Filled Mother
How to Silence Negative Automatic Thoughts
Be a More Confident Mom By Exposing These 5 Lies

 

 

[bctt tweet=”No one can tell your story, so tell it yourself. No one can write your story, so write it yourself. (Unknown) Read on… #writers #bloggers #moms #authors #dreamers ” username=”@cheryldonely”]

 

 

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens.

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.

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