Your Best Christmas Ever – with Jennifer Dukes Lee – ITA #63

Holiday overwhelm. How do we fight it? Accomplished author turned country girl, Jennifer Lee Dukes shares her thoughts about making this the year of the “pre-approved” Christmas…where we celebrate His approval of us rather than to gain the approval of others.

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Today we also talk about how you are one of kind. I show my nerdy side a bit and share an inspiring statistic. Yes, I just said “inspiring statistic” – listen and I think you’ll agree…

In This Episode You’ll Hear…

  • How making a list of ordered priorities with a guiding principle at the top will help you have a simple, meaningful Christmas.
  • When we feel half hearted, not whole hearted we question ourselves and identity, especially at Christmas.
  • Jesus is the only unchanging part of Christmas and that is what we are celebrating.

Tweet to Inspire: “Love others from your approval of Christ, rather than for the approval of others.” – @Dukeslee on @inspired2action –> http://ctt.ec/q14w8

Click the play button in the post or grab your favorite podcast app and join us for a chat!

My Favorite Freezer Recipes

The holidays are busy and I don’t always have time to cook before we have to run to the next event. That’s why I’m stocking up our freezer with simple, fast healthy meals that I can always pull out in a pinch.

Here are my favorites:
Chili – super simple and can be used SO many ways.
Salsa Chicken – this one is even easier and more versitile. We use it in burritos, over rice, on nachos. Yum.
Lasagna – an old freezer staple.

I’m so thankful for how simple Plan To Eat makes my batch cooking and meal planning. I just drag, drop, grab my phone and head to the store because PTE automagically makes my shopping list for me. Golden.
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Be sure to check them out and grab their FREE 30 day trial.

(Note that their huge Black Friday 50% off sale is coming up, so now is the perfect time to check them out.)

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Announcing The HelloMornings Advent Study Power Pack!

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New Things Coming…

There are SO many exciting things in the pipeline. And I’m absolutely thrilled about the ways I’m going to be able to better serve you as moms through the projects in the works right now.

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Finding (and giving) Grace in Motherhood: An Interview with Jeannie Cunnion – ITA62

You’re going to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders as you listen to Jeannie Cunnion, author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating Your Child’s Heart with God’s Extravagant Grace
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. Her humble attitude and transparent walk through her own journey of accepting God’s grace reminds you that motherhood tends to reveal everyone’s weaknesses. So take a deep breath, sit back and listen. You aren’t the only one striving for perfection in parenting.

In This Episode You’ll Hear…

  • What it means to have a wholehearted child and how you parent one.
  • How to raise kids with the freedom from the pressure of being perfect.
  • How to weave grace into your parenting, even in discipline.
  • How it really must start with allowing God to do a work in our own hearts before we can model this freedom to our kids.

Click the play button in the post or grab your favorite podcast app and join us for a chat!

My Least Gracious Hour

Truth be told, I am the least gracious to my children in that 4-5 o’clock hour when I’m putting dinner together, helping kids do homework and preparing for the next day. I call it the Fourth Quarter. It’s go time. The game is on the line and the pressure is on. (Sports analogies for the win!)

It has truly been such a blessing to not have to wonder what I’m making for dinner. Oh, I’m still grumpy and a little frazzled from the process of cooking (not my strength) but having a meal plan each week eliminates the frustration of figuring out what to have or the guilt of ordering another pizza.

It’s weird and possibly a little dorky to think that a meal planning website has made me a better mom, but it’s actually true. Now if only Plan To Eat could create a house cleaning website…

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Be sure to check them out and grab their FREE 30 day trial.

(Note that their huge Black Friday 50% off sale is coming up, so now is the perfect time to check them out.)

Here are a few highlights from my meal plan this week. (Please remember I am not a gourmet chef. I am a “get out of there” chef. I like simple, fast and relatively healthy recipes. The Pioneer Woman…I am not. :)

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Personality Types and Parenting with Megan Tietz – ITA61

Understanding how you’re wired and how your children are wired can make a massive difference in the effectiveness of our parenting. Today we are talking to Megan Tietz about personality types and parenting.

Personality Types and Parenting with Megan Tietz – ITA61

You’re going to love listening to Megan. Her warm voice, gracious wisdom and powerful insight on personality types and parenting will leave you wishing this was a 3 hour podcast.

In This Episode You’ll Hear…

  • How knowing our personalities can have a HUGE impact on our parenting.
  • The importance of parenting to our children’s unique personalities.
  • Ways to take personality tests to yield the truest results.

Click the play button in the post or grab your favorite podcast app and join us for a chat!

Master Your Meal Planning

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Honestly, I hadn’t done my meal planning before I started writing these show notes. So, I just popped over to PTE and built my meal plan for the week and got it done in about 5 minutes. Love that.

Be sure to check them out and grab their FREE 30 day trial.

(Note that their huge Black Friday 50% off sale is coming up, so now is the perfect time to check them out.)

Here are a few highlights from my meal plan this week. (Please remember I am not a gourmet chef. I am a “get out of there” chef. I like simple, fast and relatively healthy recipes. The Pioneer Woman…I am not. :)

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Automating Motherhood – Systems and Ideas for Simplifying Motherhood with Kellye Peters – ITA60

The nerd in me is so thrilled about this episode. Today I’m chatting with my very dear “in real life” friend, Kellye Peters about chore charts, lists and getting organized.

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Kellye and I have been friends for over 10 years and I am constantly amazed at how well she manages her home. She has fantastic ideas and an extraordinary gift for decor and design. After a recent discussion about daily lists for our kids, I knew I had to share her wisdom with y’all.

Isn’t her kitchen gorgeous? (Even in a slightly blurry photo!)

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In This Episode You’ll Hear…

  • About simple systems and lists that will make your motherhood easier.
  • Why it’s important to teach our children build routines
  • How routines can help us be better moms
  • The biggest obstacle to our organization

Automate Your Meal Planning

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

I’ve used Plan to Eat for years and it’s one of the biggest ways I’ve simplified my time. I used to reinvent the wheel every single week (well, when I had the energy to meal plan…) when I planned my meals. Now, it just takes me about 5 minutes a week to plan (since PTE automatically generates my shopping list) and then another 5 minutes to check things off my list before I head to the grocery store. So wonderful.

Be sure to check them out and grab their FREE 30 day trial.

Here are a few highlights from my meal plan this week. (Please remember I am not a gourmet chef. I am a “get out of there” chef. I like simple, fast and relatively healthy recipes. The Pioneer Woman…I am not. :)

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ITA59 – Don’t Give Up On the Girl Inside – A Chat with Emily Wierenga

“Don’t give up on the girl inside.” I can’t stop thinking about this simple phrase Emily said in our conversation about her story and her book Atlas Girl.

As moms, the voice of the girl inside can get drowned out by all the expectation, comparison and busyness of life. Sometimes we can forget who we are, what we dream and the story that made us who we are.

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In this simple conversation, Emily shares her story of how cancer, an eating disorder and ultimately God have shaped her heart and her motherhood.

Grab a cup of tea and join us on the couch for a conversation that will inspire and challenge you.

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Inspire a Love of Reading in Your Children – with Sarah Mackenzie – ITA58

Reading aloud with our children is one of the most powerful habits we can develop. But how do we find the time? What if we don’t like reading either? How do we help our children develop a love of books?

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We answer all these questions and more in this week’s podcast with my guest is Sarah Mackenzie from the blog Amongst Lovely Things and the podcast Read Aloud Revival.

In This Episode You’ll Hear…

  • What are the best books to read aloud for your child’s age?
  • Is there a difference in the benefits listening to an audio book or a person?
  • If you read just 5 minutes aloud everyday for 1 year, guess how many hours you will have read? You won’t believe it!

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

A huge thanks to this month’s Podcast sponsor -PLAN TO EAT- be sure to check them out!

This week has been CRAZY and makes me even more thankful for this site. I normally try to think through my meal planning at least a little bit, but I just don’t have time this week, so I’m super thankful for their “saved menus” feature. I just drag a saved menu onto my calendar and now my son and I can head to the store after school with our list ready to go.

Time savers like this save my sanity!

My dinner recipes this week are:
Chicken and Rosemary Vegetables
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef
Asparagus Geneva
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Click the play button in the post or grab your favorite podcast app and join us for a chat!

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Teaching your kids about justice and loving your neighbor just got easier. Meet the Glow Campaign

Note From Kat: This post is from my very good friend, neighbor and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin.

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Mamas, I’d like to tell you a story. And then invite you to join us.

Last spring my daughter Sophie and her friend Ana were celebrating a classmate’s birthday in school. A little boy in the class didn’t like cupcakes and became very vocal about how he would have preferred a different snack. Not sure what was wrong with him – I would have gladly taken that cupcake off his hands.

Mrs. Keltner, the teacher, mentioned to the kids they should be thankful to have a cupcake. She told them that there are kids all around the world who don’t get enough food to eat and would probably love to have a cupcake for a treat.

That struck a cord with Sophie and Ana. At recess they began to think about what life would be like if they lived in poverty, were orphans or didn’t have access to clean water.  It made them sad to recognize that was a reality for so many kids. Despite the fact that they were seven, they decided to do something about it.

Fueled with a passion to make lives better for kids around the world, their charity was born.

The Glow Campaign. Creating brighter futures for kids.

The Glow Crew in South Africa visiting a day care center and learning how we can help children there.
The Glow Crew in South Africa visiting a day care center and learning how we can help children there.

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Overwhelmed? Learn To Say Your Best Yes – An Interview with Lysa TerKeurst – ITA57

Every “yes” is a commitment of our time and energy. How can we make wise choices? How can we say no graciously? Join Lysa Terkeurst and me in this episode of the Inspired To Action podcast as we discuss how to free ourselves from overwhelmed schedules and the fear of saying no.

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In this interview, Lysa shares with us:

  • How to change your overwhelmed schedule.
  • The 3 clues that reveal whether we should say yes or no to an opportunity.
  • The “scripts” Lysa uses to graciously says no when pressured to say yes.
  • A simple way to start “unrushing” your life.

Grab your headphones, click here and join us for a chat and keep reading to learn more!

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ITA56-How To Transform Your Mornings

How we start matters. The first few minutes of anything, be it a movie, race, game or our day set the tone for everything that is to come. This episode of the podcast is all about learning to start our days well. This simple habit can literally change everything for you…

Grab your headphones, click here and join me for a chat!

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