My Favorite Way to Exercise

exercise

I’m going to let you in on a little something I discovered about three years ago.  First, a little background information. For many years I was a runner.  It was my sole mode of exercise.  I trained for races, was a part of a running club and ran 3-5 times a week. When my knees began giving me issues, I transitioned to group fitness classes at my local gym. I participated for a few years quite regularly.  I was consistently going 4-5 times a week.  I found myself bored with the classes. My solution was to have a friend join me. I figured I’d enjoy it much more with a friend.  I asked my gal-pal, Ashley, who was also a gym member, if she’d join me for a class or two each week.  She opted out with the reason that she was “very passionate about lifting weights” and would I care to join her instead? I could not say I was passionate about any type of exercise, so I opted to give her passion a try. The fitness class I hated the most was coming up, so I said I’d join her for lifting weights on that day.  That was 3 years ago.  I’ve been lifting weights with Ashley ever since.  I stuck with it for several reasons.  One, I was right, having a friend to workout with is motivational and way more fun. Ashley is a wealth of knowledge and taught me everything I now know. 

What I’m about to tell you regarding exercise goes beyond motivation and friendship though. Those are great. However, lifting weights transformed my body more than any other type of exercise! I wasn’t out to bulk up or enter bodybuilding contests. My desire was simply to stay in shape.  What I didn’t anticipate was the way my muscles would transform. I began to see definition in my back, shoulders and abs. I’d never had that before. Never.  I’m still not a body builder, but that was never the goal. I look healthy and strong. I feel great. And, I highly recommend lifting weights as an excellent form of exercise.  

Below is an example of how I  break up my muscle groups.  However, I mix things up every so often to keep my muscles confused. Ashley taught me muscle confusion aids in muscle develop!

Monday: Legs & Glutes

Tuesday: Shoulder & Back

Wednesday: Abs & Chest

Thursday: Legs again

Friday: Biceps & Triceps 

I still enjoy the cardio aspect of running & fitness classes, so Ashley and I usually end our workout with some type of cardio.  May I also suggest beginning and ending your workout with a good stretch.  Your 47 year old self will thank you one day!

lifting
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    How Can I Help?

    heart on the beach

    I’m a 45 year old white female living in the USA. I have privileges not afforded a 45 year old black female also living in the USA.  That’s not to say I haven’t had hard times. It does mean my skin color hasn’t been a cause for any of my hardships.  

    I’ve had the opportunity on several occasions to openly discuss racism and how it affects my black friends.  I’m not pretending to be an expert.  I’m certainly not attempting to be a voice to replace my black friends’ voices.  My intention is to come alongside them to unite our voices in an effort to bring change and healing. 

    Here are 5 things you can do as a white person right now to help heal our country devastated by racism:

    LISTEN: This seems like an easy one. However, it’s probably the hardest on the list. For some reason people are of the notion they have to 100% agree with everything a person says or believes in order to stand with them. In addition, amidst our social media culture, we also often feel the need to correct and offer a personal opinion. I’m asking you to JUST LISTEN. 

    EXAMINE YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Do all your friends believe like you? Think like you? Look (share the same skin color} like you?  Your perspective can quickly become very narrow if the above questions can all be answered with a “yes”. 

    EDUCATE YOURSELF:  Education has always been a method to empower and enlighten ourselves.  Take the time to listen to podcasts, read books, and watch movies written/produced by black men and women.

    Book: JUST MERCY

    Blog Post: Lament for Ahmaud

    Podcast: How to Be Anti-Racist

    Documentary: 13th

    PRAY: Division amidst the people God created was never His intent.  Pray for restoration.  Pray for healing.  Pray for God to open your eyes to ways you can be part of the solution.

    TALK TO YOUR KIDS: If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know I’m a huge proponent of having hard uncomfortable conversations with your kids. This topic isn’t off limits.  Open dialogue about what you’re learning and how you can make changes as a family is a great dinner talking point.

    BONUS POINT: Say something when one of your white friends makes a statement that hinders the work of reconciliation.  When you know better, you do better.  Pass it on.

    In your enthusiasm to listen and learn, please keep the following in mind:  This topic may be a new conversation for you, but it’s been a life long discussion in conjunction with a lot of personal experiences for our African American friends.  Be polite.  Be patient.  Be grateful.  Teaching is exhausting.  

    Finally, if any of the things you’ve read or heard lately {not just here} make you feel misunderstood or defensive I would encourage you to sit in that feeling.  It’s all a part of the learning & listening practice.

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      What do you mean Morning Routine?

      Morning Routine

      I recently had someone message me and ask about my morning routine. I flipped through the blog to send her a link and realized it’s been a year and a half since I posted about what my morning routine looks like.  It’s something I post about daily on Instagram, so 1.5 years feels like too long of a stretch to not revisit and update you on any revisions.  At the very least, I need to let you know how it’s going!

       
      Allow me to begin by saying it is truly the best part of my day.  I know!  I get to begin each day with my favorite part. If you are just beginning a morning routine or simply thinking about it and know it requires getting up earlier than you already do, it’s hard to imagine it being anyone’s favorite part of their day.  You may be assuming I’m a morning person and that I love mornings. That would not be true.  I actually had to develop this skill. Yes, the act of rising early with joy is a skill.  For me it was a skill that took long tedious practice.
       
      I began with getting really good at a simple 10 minute morning routine and I talk about that HERE.
       
      That was 6 years ago. Today my morning routine takes about an hour.  It doesn’t have to take an hour.  I WANT it to take that long.  Like I mentioned, I love this part of my day.  It’s the part of the day I connect with the God that created me, the guy who loves me and thinks I’m super cool.  When I fully embraced that as truth it made a world of difference in how I spend my time with Him.
       
      I’m going to let you in on a little secret that not enough people realize or at least aren’t willing to accept.  Here it is nonetheless: God is such a big fan of you.  He delights in you.  He’s so happy he created you! Hard to imagine? It was for me too.  But the more I spend time with him during my morning routine, the more I can’t deny he’s super proud of his human creation.
       
      Let’s get to it. Here is how I spend the first part of every morning!
       
      6:30 summer wake up/ 6:00 during the school year. I no longer need an alarm.  My night owl body has been trained to wake up before dawn! That in itself is a miracle I never thought was possible.
       
       
      STEP ONE: Make Coffee. I love one cup of strong coffee with a long dash of Dunkin Donuts Extra Extra Sweet Cream in my Ember cup that keeps it my selected temperature through my whole routine.
       
      STEP TWO: While sipping coffee, I document in my DAY ONE app a quick recap of the previous day.  I also include a photo from the day that I snapped with my phone.  I’ve done this for about 6 years now and the largest benefit I’ve uncovered from this practice is that it builds my faith in God.  How can an online journal recapping your day build your faith?  I’m so glad you asked. The Day One app makes it so easy to look back on the date from previous years. As I’ve don’t that I read about things that were stressing me out or had be so worried and now, having the gift of hindsight, I can see how it all worked out.
       
      STEP THREE: In handwritten form I jot down the same thing everyday: My word of the year. This year it’s RESOLVE.  Then I write down the 4 words I want to describe me in 10 years when people think about me. {This is a practice I learned from Brendon Burchard.} Finally, I write out the 10 dreams I’m working towards. { This practice I learned from Rachel Hollis using her Start Today Journals}
       
      STEP FOUR: I study the Bible.  This can take on several forms.  I’ve found the most success using a Bible study, written by someone more well educated than myself to learn from. I’m current’y using Beth Moore’s THE QUEST.  It’s a favorite and I’ve done a lot my several different authors.
       
      STEP FIVE: I pray.  I use a Prayer Journal by Val Marie Paper.  It helps me to focus during prayer and this practice also helps me to track the faithfulness of God through answered prayers.
       
      STEP SIX: I meditate.  I use the CALM APP. I set the timer for 5 minutes and breath.  I sit in silent and stillness.  It’s the hardest part of my routine.  5 minutes still feels like 5 hours and I’ve stayed at 5 minutes for well over a year.  I can’t seem to get the hang of it.  However, I have gotten better.  Also, I’ve settled into the fact that I’m a slow learner.  Things worth learning take time.  Extra time for me.
       
      STEP SEVEN: I review the verse I’m putting to memory.  My mind can quickly take my down rabbit holes of despair if I allow it.  Sometimes even when I don’t allow it.  My mind will default to despair.  So I use truths from the Bible to stay positive and truth filled. 
       
      That’s it! If you’ve begun a morning routine, I’d love to hear how it’s going.  Leave me a comment or email me!
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        Easy Ways to Feel Productive

        Mexico Beach house bed

        5 Easy Steps to help you feel productive during quarantine:

        Are your drowning in overwhelm during this Shelter in Place? Being at home with your kids full time, being chef, teacher, employee, mom, friend, & maid is a recipe for drowning in overwhelm. Here are 5 easy things your can do right now for an instant pick me up!

        1. Make your Bed: Even if the rest of your room is in chaos, because your bed takes up so much space in your room, it will help you feel like it has some semblance of organization.
        2. Clear everything off the front of your refrigerator:  Remove all of the mail, artwork, reminders, magnets: everything from the front of your fridge.  The same concept is at play here. It’s such a large appliance and clearing it off will give the illusion that your kitchen isn’t as messy as it truly is.
        3. Wash your hair.  Turn on the visual babysitter, Disney Plus. Walk in the bathroom. Lock the door.  Step into the shower.  Just feeling the hot water is gong to lift your spirits.  Once you begin adding soap to your hair the smell is bound to invigorate you.  You don’t even have to finish the typical routine of blow drying, curling, styling and putting on makeup.  Just a shower and clean hair is enough.  
        4. Change your outfit.  If you’re on day 3 of the same pajamas and your pjs have morphed into daily measure wear, it’s time to reset.  If you pick something with a little style you get bonus points.  
        5. Move your Body.  Walk outside.  Now to the end of your driveway.  Keep going. The movement will release endorphins that will lift your mood.

        That’s it.  It’s that easy!

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          Great Teen Quarantine Activity

          tie dye teen activity

          There seem to be a lot of suggestions for keeping young kids occupied during quarantine.  I haven’t seen too many ideas for our tweens and teens. They get bored too. So bored. When the activity of tie-dye was proposed they all jumped at the idea. I quickly realized I was the only one who hadn’t tie-dyed before.  In case you find yourself with novice status, here are some tips to help you fool your gang and appear like an expert.



          tie dye

          First things first, we wanted our t-shirts to have a distressed look.  So, we cut some slits in the neck of the shirt and then used some leftover sandpaper to scuff up the holes. The girls opted to crop the t-shirt by cutting off the hem. It leaves a fun and desired raw edge.  We also cut the hem off the sleeves so that when it’s washed they roll up a bit. 



          tie dye
          tie dye

          Now that we have the t-shirts perfectly imperfect and distressed; it’s time to prep for tie dye.

          1. Wet the t-shirt with water and ring out any excess.
          tie dye

          2. Lay the shirt flat on the counter, choose where you’d like the swirl of the tie dye to begin, pinch that area and twist clockwise until your t-shirt forms a circle.

          tie dye
          tie dye

          3. It’s time to add rubber bands similar to dividing a pie.

          4. It’s at this point I recommend taking your craft project outside. The dye will stain what it touches!

          5. Each “piece of pie” gets a color of your choosing.

          tie dye
          tie dye

          6.  Once each piece of your “pie” is colored allow the shirts to sit, still bound for up to 6 hours. If you’re impatient like us, you can only wait for an hour. It still came out plenty colorful, but 6 is recommended.

          7. Rinse the shirt in cool water. And ring it out.

          8. Wash in the washer and dry in the dryer.

          9. It’s ready to wear!

          If you want to take your creation to the next level, whip out some embroidery thread and hand sew an additional design!

           

          tie dye
          tie dye
          tie dye
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            DIY Headboard with Found Scraps

            diy headboard

            While being Corona-Quarantined at home my husband, Drew, and I found ourselves cleaning out the garage. That led to finding some leftover wood; that led to starting a DIY that I’d wanted to do for some time, but could never find a free Saturday. It was the proverbial “If you give a mouse a cookie”.  Finding ourselves with the equivalent of a month of Saturdays, we got to work.

            love create celebrate

            My hope was to create a headboard using the inspiration from Lindi at Love Create Celebrate. She created a feature wall  found here that I instantly fell in love with! I’d still love to have a wall like this.  For now, I’m pairing it down to a manageable project with our scraps on hand: a headboard.

            cut down planks

            We had some tongue and groove wood planks a friend had given us from one of her leftover projects.  We milled them down with a table saw to make them 1.5 inch width strips of wood. We determined the width based off of what we had on hand; we could get 3 pieces from one plank.  In addition we took into consideration the inspiration picture and the size of wood pieces they used.

            headboard layout

            Once we had all of our scraps milled to the size we needed, we laid out a few mock layouts until we found one we both liked. This took a little imagination and tweaking.  It helped to snap a photo of each layout to compare side by side.

            skill saw cuts

            When we landed on a design we liked we got to work using a Jigsaw and our nail gun to solidify placement.  We found it easiest to lay each piece where we wanted it {using a level and 90 degree ruler, AKA Carpenter Square} and penciling the cut.  Then we used a Jigsaw to make the angled cuts.

            nail gun

            After each piece was nailed into place we used plastic wood to fill in the holes. Once that was dry we lightly sanded the surface.  It was then ready to be painted. We had leftover paint, Benjamin Moore Decorator White, but first we sprayed a coat of Kilz white paint to keep any of the wood tones from leaking through.  It was followed by 2 coats of Decorator White. Between coats we gave it a light sanding. The painting brought out a few areas that needed it.



            painted white

            The headboard was dry and ready to be hung.  We placed the largest screws closer to the bottom into studs.  That way they wouldn’t be visible, but also would make the headboard very sturdy. We used a finish nail for the top anchoring.  Filled in the holes and did some touch up painting. Voila, IT”S COMPLETE! A cool, modern headboard made for zero dollars.

            Modern Headboard
            Modern Headboard
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              Corona Virus vs. Your Goals

              corona vs goals

              How’s a girl to keep up with her healthy habits when she’s been advised to stay at home in an effort to help dissipate the Corona Virus? If you’re like me, you’ve established some awesome healthy habits. They took time to establish and make second nature. Often times those habits are solidified based on the regular routine you keep.  

              My daily habits look something like this: up at 6am, begin morning routine, eat a healthy breakfast, take vitamins, drop kids off at school, head to the gym, sip water all the way, and then work.  HOWEVER, with Corona knocking on the doors of American homes, now the kids are off school for weeks on end.  We are being asked to stay home and access to a gym is limited. Your routine is in upheaval.   

              Don’t let all your healthy habits get lost amidst the change of routine! You can keep healthy habits in place with a few helpful tips.  

              1. Continue to get up at the same time: Keeping your body set to its traditional body clock will, not only make it easier once you’re back to your usual schedule, but will also trick your mind into having a positive mindset.
              2. Figure out the specific habits you want to maintain, but will be difficult with your new temporary schedule: For me, I know I want to continue drinking 64 oz of water, exercising, having my morning routine and eating healthy.  I’ve gotten use to drinking a lot of water during morning school drop off. With that not in play right now, I’ve alternately filled up two water bottles with the mount of water I need to consume in a day.  The visual reminder will help me to accomplish it.  
              3. Think through what habits may be more challenging with your temporary schedule change and get creative on how you can still make them happen. The important thing to keep in mind is that you KEEP the time slot for that habit, but perhaps you scale back how MUCH time you invest in it. You may typically spend an hour at the gym, but now 30 mins is going to have to be enough because you’re a temporary homeschool mom.
              4. Social distancing doesn’t rule out connectedness: This is a great time to daily check in via phone or text with a friend once you’ve completed the habits or goals you want to complete each day. If you both set goals and check in, even better!!
              5. Finally, give yourself some grace.  Don’t quit. Also, don’t berate yourself if you miss a day.  You’re learning something new. New is hard. New is messy. Take it easy.  You can do it.

              If you create a new habit over the next few weeks please be sure to leave a comment.  I’d love to hear about it!

               

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                Teen Talk & Topics

                Talking to Teens

                To finish out 2019, I set a goal to create a short, 4 week curriculum to teach a handful of teenagers. More specifically they were, my 8th grade daughter, Ava’s friends. Ava is the youngest of our 4 kids. As I watched my older children, I noticed it was around the middle school age in which a shift took place amidst their friends. MIddle schoolers are faced with the typical temptations that have plagued teens for centuries: sex, smoking {of course it’s vaping now}, drugs; a baisc moral decline.They needed a plan to combat the typical temptations, especaily before benginning high school, where the enticement for moral decline would ramp up to a higher degree. Basically, I wanted to equip these girls with the life-tools they’d need to combat with confidence the temptations that will bombard their life.  They would need to be ready with a plan for how to fight against it. 

                As parents I think we often avoid  bringing up tough topics for a myriad of reasons. We have personal shame around how we handled the temptations when we were in high school. We figure the school has it covered. We think it’s a hopeless cause. Or, perhaps the attempts created such an  embarrassing reaction from your teen, it shut the conversation down.

                I don’t have the space to go over all 4 weeks of content here. However, I’d love to give you a synopsis of weekly content we covered when it comes to self-esteem, standards and relationships. Hopefully it will be a springboard to stir your own thoughts that will lead to conversations you’ll have with your teenager.  Be willing to have the awkward conversations, regardless of how your kids react. They are still listening even if it looks like eye rolling and flushed cheeks.

                This content comes from a faith-based perspective. I reference prayer, Bible reading and a personal relationship with Jesus as a key component for positive self-esteem. Recognizing there is a higher power {God} who created you and has a plan for your life is the launching pad we started from.

                Week 1 was all about establishing a morning routine that would set the girls up for success throughout the day and ultimately for their life.  I talk more about that here. 

                The morning routine is a time where they set their intentions for the day.  Give thanks to their creator, God, for his blessings and read truth found in the Bible.  Creating a morning routine that emphasises the aforementioned content is key to personal confidence.  Personal confidence will help with the following content covered!

                Week 2 we talked about standards, especially pertaining to dating.  I emphasised that the higher their standards were the fewer choices they would have to make.  We also talked about predetermining your standards and how essential that is for keeping your standards high.  Then, when you get to the party and discover there is alcohol, you aren’t deciding on the spot how you will handle it. It’s been predetermined long before you were ever put in the situation. The same goes for dating.  Deciding ahead of time what your standards will be is essential. I gave examples with fun tag lines like “hands on hands, lips on lips”.

                 

                Week 3 we talked about how to be a good friend.  I had them practice using their words to encourage, rather than the typical middle school girl thing to do, gossip. We went around the room and took time to verbalize the qualities we saw in each other. It was a powerful week!

                Finally, week 4 we talked about what to do if you get off track.  It’s essential that our teens know how to recover from a mistake. The importance of getting back up, forgiving yourself and rerouting back to the standards originally set. We ended by writing a letter to their future self, full of encouragement. I have them stamped and ready to send out for the first day of Freshman year!

                My hope in writing this is that it will spur you on to have the awkward conversations with your teen.  I can’t emphasize enough how much it doesn’t matter if they react adversely to it. Don’t give up. It is weird to have those types of conversations with your teenager. Until one day it isn’t because you’ve had so many, it’s normal!

                I believe in you!  Ask your kid on a coffee date and bring up one of the 4 topics.  Don’t let it be the last time!



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                • Molly wickesThis is so great! I want the curriculum! I mean, you knew I would. ‍♀️ReplyCancel

                • Monica FalzoneSara, what great topics and a perfect age to cover those things. I am a public school teacher grades k-12. I see the shift you are talking about at that age. Are you sharing your curriculum?ReplyCancel

                How to Pack for a Sailing Adventure

                sailing

                My husband, Drew, and I have the extreme privilege of leading marriage retreats aboard a 54 foot catamaran in the Caribbean for a week. One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How should I pack for such an adventure?” I figured I’d put all the answers here in an easy accessible location.

                sailing couple

                First, you must know that sailing feels a lot like glamping, aka glamorous-camping.  The clothing attire reflects that. Cute and comfortable is my go-to. Cute, because sailing feels like an activity for cute attire.  Comfortable, because you’re floating on a moving object in the ocean.

                A bathing suit will be your uniform for the week. We spend plenty of time in the water and enjoying the sun  We ask that a tankini or one piece style bathing suits be worn. They lend themselves best to getting in and out of the dinghy {small transporting boat} and moving aboard close quarters on the boat. PACK 2-3  {I pack 4}

                Bathing Suit Cover Ups aren’t necessary, but nice to have when you’ve had enough sun or are transitioning from sea to land. {One is plenty, I usually pack 2}

                We are known to hike while on land.  Be sure to include a comfortable pair of sneakers  or Tevas/Chacos, whatever you prefer.

                5 short sleeve  t-shirts will be plenty for the week.  I also include 2 long sleeve “water shirts” that dry quickly when I’ve had enough sun, but I don’t want to be hot.

                4-5 pair of shorts get me through the week. I usually pack light weight, cotton, elastic waist, running-type shorts.  Remember comfort is the name of the game. I could easily get away with 3 pair since I’m really in my suit most often and shorts may be taken off, but the t-shirt stays on.

                how to dress dress

                2 cotton a-line dresses are what I pack for the 2 evenings we  head off the boat for dinner. I always wear a pair of biking shorts underneath my dress.  Let me tell you about the one time I forgot and, as I attempted to climb aboard the dinghy, the wind caught my dress and gave the whole crew quite the view!

                When it comes to shoes, less is more.  I include a pair of flip flops, something that’s easy to get in and out of without using hands to assist.  Shoes aren’t typically worn on the boat. It helps to keep the boat clean and allows you to walk more easily while underway. I also include a water shoe of sorts for times when my feet will get wet but I need my shoes to stay on. Finally I pack a pair of sneakers.

                One pair of pajamas, if you need them at all.  It is a marriage retreat, after all, and you have your own private state room and bathroom.

                Just in case there is a cool evening, I wear a pair of leggings with a layering piece on top through the airport  The coat I wear is a lightweight rain coat, so I have it in case of rain o note boat. The raincoat is not necessary AT ALL.  I just really like mine, it a sailing brand and I feel cool when I wear it. Did I just admit that?

                When it comes to toiletries and make-up, I also pack light!  There will be days it feels silly to have make-up on, it will only be coming off as soon as you get in the water.  Just pack your essentials. Of course, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner should come along, all the things to keep you fresh while sharing close quarters.

                sailing

                A few things I find helpful in the “toiletry” department you may not naturally think of: baby wipes, Poo-pourri, band-aids, SUNSCREEN, I can’t emphasis that one enough.

                A hat ,headband {band style} and sunglasses help to shade from the elements. However, keep in mind on a moving boat things fly off easily. Plan accordingly with hat style. And glasses cords.

                I bundle all those items into a soft sided carry on size piece of luggage.  There is very limited storage on the boat. Having a suitcase that is able to  collapse or be made smaller is best.

                sail backpack
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                  Establish a 10 Minute Morning Routine

                  bible morning routine

                  Word has it you’d like to begin your day with a daily habit of gratitude, prayer, & Bible reading.  Me too.  The problem is this take discipline.  Creating a discipline isn’t always easy.  I’ve mapped out simple steps to make it a habit you can stick to.  I’ve tested it.  I’ve taught it.  It works!

                  How to Establish a Morning Routine Habit:

                  Commit to 30 days and don’t quit on yourself: If you miss a day, begin again.  As in, begin back at day 1. That will help keep you from skipping, I promise! If you think you may need some more assistance, contact a friend and ask her to check in on your progress.  Better yet, start an accountability group. If you’re not sure what that is, see the link at the bottom of this post.  It will map it out for you.

                  Start Small: Begin with 10 mins, first thing in the morning. 5 days a week, Monday thru Friday. Get really good at 10 minutes. This is the most important part. I can’t encourage this enough. GET REALLY GOOD AT 10 MINUTES. Yes, I was saying that loudly for emphasis. Even screaming, perhaps. Then add Saturday and Sunday and then add more minutes. Don’t add on too soon. I repeat, GET EXTREMELY GOOD AT 10 MINUTES!

                  Here’s the cool thing: Jesus is irresistible.  If you continue to spend time with Him each morning you will discover, 10 minutes isn’t enough time. However, don’t be discouraged if it takes awhile to get to the “enjoy” part. You are learning a new habit.  Learning something new is always uncomfortable. Recognize it.  Accept it and then, KEEP GOING!

                  Same Time: Get your body use to doing this each morning at the same time! We are creatures of habit.  Your body will become accustomed to waking up 10 minutes earlier. There will come a day when you won’t need an alarm. Literally roll out of bed and onto the floor if that’s what it takes to wake you up.  The “get up” is the hardest part. Good thing you can do hard things, friend.

                  Same Place: Find a place you will do your morning routine and do it there every time.

                  How to Break Down your 10 minute Morning Routine Devotions:

                  3 deep breaths in a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that you fall back to sleep. For beginners I recommend a location other than your bed. No seriously, don’t attempt this in bed.

                  LEAVE YOUR PHONE ON THE CHARGER. It doesn’t get to come with you. You are giving your first fruits of your day to Jesus!

                  GIVE THANKS: Pull out your journal. Write out 5 things you are thankful for. Present them as an offering of thanks to God for providing them.

                  PRAY: At the beginning of your 30 days {or once it’s a habit, at the beginning of each month}, write out the names or topics you are praying for in your journal. Include specific things you will pray about.  This will help keep you in focused prayer and you’ll be able to easily track when God answers a prayer!

                  READ THE BIBLE: The options are endless here.  It can be a verse, a chapter, a devotional like Jesus Calling. Remember, we are establishing a habit so don’t make it too involved at this point. There will be plenty of room for “advanced moves” once you get really good at the 10 minute habit.

                  THAT’S IT.  Take on your morning!!

                  I’d love to hear how you are doing creating this new habit or habit stacking on an already  solid morning routine habit. You can contact me here: SimplySaraAnthony@gmail.com

                  For more inspiration follow along with my social media:

                  Instagram: @Simply.Sara.Anthony

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                  Welcome

                  I’m Sara Anthony. I love keeping things simple, working along side my husband, Drew, & raising our 4 kids. I've dedicated this space to sharing what I've learned about raising teenagers, simplifying our home and staying motivated through accountability.

                  SimplySaraAnthony@gmail.com

                  Located in Southern Georgia