ITA#9 – The Power of a Purposeful Mom

By | Podcast | 9 Comments

Today, I’m talking about purposeful motherhood and 3 things that can help you stay focused, fight overwhelm and ignore the voices of comparison that try to distract and discourage us in this motherhood journey.

Mentioned This Episode
Kisses from Katie – I mention this book by Katie Davis. It’s one of my favorite books. So inspiring.

A Extra Lesson I Learned Today

New podcast artwork.

New podcast artwork!

I know, it’s been awhile since I recorded my last podcast. Can I just say…it’s a lot harder to speak for 25 minutes in a little room all by myself, than it is in front of a crowd?

I think the reason is that I can stop and restart whenever I want to. I’m tempted to fix every little mistake.

Well, I made a big mistake in this episode of the podcast…

You see, I recorded the whole thing and then realized the mic wasn’t connected. I recorded it all with my built in microphone instead of the fancy nice sounding one. Argh.

But I learned a great lesson (besides checking to make sure the mic is working). I learned that I need to give myself permission to be bad. I’d rather encourage you today with a podcast with bad sound, than never encourage you at all because perfection kept me from finishing.

I’ve actually recorded several episodes of the podcast that I’ll post over the next few weeks and there are things in each one that I would change. But the more I give myself permission to be a “bad podcaster”, the more I record. The more I record, the better I get.

How can you apply this to what you do? Do you need to give yourself permission to be a “bad blogger?” Do you need to allow yourself to just write?

Do you need to give yourself permission to be a “bad mom” – one who may not do everything perfectly, but you’re diving into your kids lives and hearts, baggage and all?

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to be “bad Christians.” Our Bible study times are only 2 minutes long, our prayers are even shorter – but they are happening. His grace is sufficient.

So if perfection is holding you back from something today, try giving yourself permission to be bad at it.

One of my all time favorite quotes:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

I think that quote deserves a fistbump. {fistbump}

How to Listen to This Podcast

If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.

Ways to listen to a podcast:
1. Right here on the blog. Click through to the site and click the little play button at the beginning of this post.
2. Smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting app. Apple has a free one in the app store, but I like one called Downcast. It allows me to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio.
3. To subscribe to the Podcast – just click here to access the podcast in iTunes. You can also search for it on your smartphone and subscribe.

The Perfect Summer Fun Solution and An Important Update About Yesterday’s Post

By | General | 13 Comments

photo credit

My Blundering = Your Benefit!

The bad news: Yesterday, I shared about a sale that Plan To Eat is having but I made a mistake.

Originally, I thought that the sale was a 50% off ALL subscriptions, but the PTE folks clarified to me that it was a 50% off GIFT subscriptions for those who are currently members.

Details have never been my forte.

The good news: If you jumped on the deal early yesterday (before I changed the post) the incredible folks at PTE went ahead an honored the 50% off promotion that never existed. Maybe I should make mistakes on your behalf more often. 🙂

The great news: Even if you didn’t act on the deal right away yesterday, PTE gave us a coupon for 30% off anyway! Just use the coupon code BeautifulSimplicity and you can get a year subscription for a great deal. And then, you can still give a gift subscription to someone (your meal planning accountability buddy) for the original 50% off gift subscription. That coupon code is ThanksMom.

To recap: Get your subscription at 30% off (a deal PTE gave us just because I made a mistake. Nice!) using the BeautifulSimplicity coupon code and then you can also give a subscription to a friend for 50% off with the coupon code ThanksMom.

Be sure to use those coupons before they expire on May 12th …or before I realize I made another mistake. Not impossible given my track record. Sigh.

Super Summer Fun Ideas

I don’t usually write a lot about things I think you should buy, but this week is full of great resources for you. My friend Jen wrote an excellent “fun mom” handbook for you called Kidventures. It’s packed with 50 different, detailed adventures that you can do with your kids – just in time for summer!


I love how organized each adventure is. Some are simple (like going to watch a sunset) while others are more complex (like building a toy zipline). I don’t know about you, but I can get “summer brain” which means I forget just about everything – like towels when we go to the pool. Who does that?

Anyway, Jen lists EVERY supply you might possibly need and detailed instructions on doing the adventure, so matter how simple it is. Perfect if you get “summer brain” too.

Kid Stamp of Approval

I was pretty excited about doing a lot of these adventures this summer so I printed the entire book out and had it sitting in my office. My daughter happened to see it and is now even more excited than I am about doing them in just a few weeks.

A Little Bonus for You

Jen gave me a free review copy of the ebook, but since I like to pay for things I recommend (but I don’t need two of the same book) I’m going to give away a $10 Starbucks gift card to one of you who buy the book today! Just leave a comment saying you bought it and I’ll pick a winner tomorrow.

Click here to get your copy of Kidventures and then leave a comment here to enter the Starbucks card giveaway.

Hate Meal Planning? Here’s a GREAT Deal!

By | Meal Planning Boot Camp | 5 Comments


Better Than Sliced Bread…

If you’ve been reading Inspired To Action for long, you know how much I love I recently held a Meal Planning Bootcamp to show you how I meal plan in just about 5 minutes each week.

Well, is having a great Mother’s Day sale – Through May 12th you can get 30% off of a yearly subscription for yourself using the coupon code BeautifulSimplicity. Once you are a member, you can get a gift subscription for Mom (or a friend) at 50% off the regular price using the coupon code ThanksMom. That is a fantastic deal!

Now, you could give this as a gift to someone or yourself, but I honestly encourage you to gift it to you AND someone else. Why? Because, if you’re struggling with meal planning, there is nothing like accountability and community to really turn things around.

Sign up and then go through the Bootcamp together, share recipes and rejoice in the awesomeness of stress free meal planning. Booyah.

Why I Turned Down A FREE Offer

plan-to-eat-300 That the link above is an affiliate link, which means that at no cost to you, PTE gives me a portion of the proceeds of each sale. If you subscribe and use that link, thank you so much.

The owners of Plan To Eat offered to give me a FREE lifetime subscription to their service because of all the traffic I’ve sent their way over the years. But I turned them down because if I’m encouraging you to put down your hard earned money for something, I should do the same.

So when I recommend something to you, it’s because it has seriously impacted me. And, yes, it’s weird to say that a website has “impacted” me, but I used to hate meal planning. Now I don’t. That’s kind of miraculous, my friends. Now if only I can find a website that will clean my house…

All that to say, I highly encourage you to check out Plan To Eat. With my Meal Planning Boot Camp to walk you through setting it up, I’m sure you’ll be a meal planning ninja in no time.

The sale ends on May 12th, so don’t miss that deadline. To get the deal, use the coupon codes: BeautifulSimplicity and ThanksMom

Click here to check out Plan to Eat and say adios to your meal planning woes.

If you have any questions about Plan To Eat, feel free to ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer!

Because Every Mom Needs A Monday Morning Multimedia Pep Talk

By | Get Inspired, Videos | 4 Comments


It’s the start of another week. You may feel tired, discouraged and weary, but moms don’t get sick days…so you press on.

But one word of encouragement can transform the most difficult days and I found some of the best encouragers for you today. The first video, I’ve shared before. It’s from the amazing Sally Clarkson and I just think moms need to watch it at least once a week.

You are not alone. You can do this. You can thrive.

(email and rss readers click here to watch these powerful videos.)

The second video is from my friend Lisa Jo Baker who is an incredible encourager of moms. This video is based on her post entitled “You Are Mighty” and it’s going to make you grab your superhero cape and go rock this motherhood thing today.

Need more encouragement? Check out my podcast with Lisa Jo here.

Need even more encouragement? Here is what the Bible says:

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency[a] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

God makes grace abound to you. You are not in this alone. What He is doing is so much bigger than anything you are not doing. Do not be discouraged. Hope in Him.

Love those little ones with everything in you and go be awesome…


And Her Children Will Rise and Call Her Blessed…

By | General | 2 Comments


Note from Kat: Today’s post is from my friend, and monthly contributor, Liz Griffin. As many of you know, I recently started a new blog called,, and it’s gotten off to an incredible start. I’m been amazed at the wisdom each blogger has shared and the insight all the readers seem to be getting from each interview.

Liz’ post today is kind of like spin off of How They Blog…( She is introducing us to and interviewing her incredible mom (who mothered Liz and her brother in Siberia for several years!!). Don’t miss a nugget of this wisdom, my friends. There is so very much to be learned from those who are on the other side of this motherhood journey of ours.

Welcome to May ladies! I must say, May is one of my favorite months. The school year is winding down, I have my wedding anniversary ( 10 yrs whoo! ) and we get to celebrate Mother’s Day. Now, we all know that moms need lots of encouragement and other mom’s to learn from. So, today I am giving you a chance to learn from one of the best… my very own mom!

As Kat would say, she is kind of a big deal. I seriously couldn’t honor my mom enough. I can’t imagine growing up under a better woman and I call her with all my mommy questions. She agreed to let me interview her & I’m sure you will see what a gem she is!

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Kathy Mulkey.


My mom is a stunner.

Q: What does “motherhood“ mean to you?

You mean besides watching my heart walk around outside my body?  Motherhood means I’ve been entrusted with a precious gift.  I’ve been given more than a cute child.  I have the responsibility of shaping a life, an eternal being.  Jobs, relationships, etc. will pass away but this child for eternity.    Along the way there will be laughter & tears, frustration & satisfaction, doubts & reassurances.  But in the end, it is oh, so worth it!
Q: When we were young, what was the biggest challenge for you?
I tried to do it all.  I wanted to have the perfect house, perfect meals, perfect children.  I almost went perfectly insane.  You have to cut yourself some slack.  I had to choose.  So I chose to let the “perfect” house go.  (and there were actually days my husband wouldn’t walk into the kitchen barefooted)   Once I took the pressure off myself I was able to actually enjoy my children more.


We went through a bangs phase in the 90’s.

Q: What was the worst advice you were given about raising kids?
“If you really want what’s best for your children you’ll home school.”   Yeah.  That statement was accompanied with a bucketful of condemnation.   Now, don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling! It was the suggestion that there is only one right way to raise kids.

The thing is, public school…private school…home school…there are no guarantees.  My husband and I prayed each year about what we should do and always felt we should have our kids in the excellent  public school in our neighborhood.

Friends and family will always give advice.  But you know your children better than anyone.  Always ask for God’s guidance.  Then do what you feel is best for your children.


From our Russia days.

Q: What was the best advice you were given?
Take time to do something for yourself every day.  Moms get so overwhelmed trying to juggle work, children, housekeeping, shopping, laundry, etc.  We often take care of everyone but ourselves.  Do something for yourself.  It doesn’t have to be a major thing.  For me it was reading the newspaper every day.   For you it may be soaking in a bubble bath or painting your nails.  Allow yourself a bit of “me” time.  It can work wonders and keep you sane!
Q: You and dad have an amazing marriage. What tips do you have about investing in your marriage while juggling kids?
There’s a story about the mother who watched her fourth child drive off to college.  She looked at her husband, sighed, and said, “You’re all I have now.”  To which he replied, “I’m all you had to begin with.”

Raising children is obviously time-consuming and too often the husband and wife grow apart.  Make time for each other even if it’s just a coffee date.  Talk about your dreams, fears, disappointments, and goals.  Remember what first attracted you to each other and keep that attraction alive.

After over 36 years of marriage my husband and I still leave little notes for each other.   Sometimes I write “I love you” on the mirror with lipstick.  Sometimes he leaves a note on the door for me to see as I leave the house.  Find little ways to express your love and appreciation.  Not only does it keep your marriage strong, it models a healthy marriage relationship for your children.


With my daughter Sophie.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would like to give moms?
When raising children, the days are long and the years are short. They WILL grow up.  Also, keep in mind that while your husband comes home after work and tells you what he’s accomplished that day, you won’t see the fruit of your labor immediately.  But by persistence you’re pouring into your child’s life and one day the child will blossom into the most amazing adult.

Let them know you are proud of them NOT because of what they’ve done, but because they are yours…period. Be their biggest cheerleader. Enjoy every day you have with them.

Relax and enjoy the season!

What have you learned from the mothers (your mom, grandma, mentors, friends) in your life? Click here to join the discussion!

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband & two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car, and browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.

The HelloMornings Summer Session is HERE!

By | General | 9 Comments

Christian Community

(Note from Kat: Today’s post is from HelloMornings Director, Katie Orr.)

Registration for the summer session of HelloMornings is underway!

Summer Challenge Details

  • A 13-week challenge to maximize your mornings, via online accountability groups.
  • Starts May 6th and runs through August 2nd.
  • Registration is open until Friday, May 3th.
  • Perfection is not a requirement. Just a desire to meet with God in the morning and a commitment to checking in with your group.
  • There is also a free Bible study for all HelloMornings participants, Meet Jesus, a walk through the book of John.

There are Facebook and Twitter accountability groups available for you to choose from. Registration ends this Friday, and groups are filling up fast. Just head on over to the registration site to find a group that fits your needs.

Have you taken on the HelloMornings challenge before? Are you interested? Scared of it? (tee-hee) What does your time with God usually look like in the summer?

Let us know in the comments!

About Katie 
HelloMornings Director

Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Auburn fan. Loves to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime.

Learn more about Katie on her website Follow her on Twitter.

Mother Like a Farmer

By | Get Inspired | 39 Comments


I’m going to tell you about something I’ve never seen, but first let me tell you a little bit about farming.


You see, I once lived in a cul de sac neighborhood that backed up to an orange orchard. I was in the 3rd grade. We lived there for 2 years.

I’m pretty much a farming expert. Obviously.

Did you know farmers have seasons? There is the planting season, the growing season (clearly my farming expertise is shining through. Probably not the technical name for it, but it’s the season when they water and weed and watch) and the harvest season.

You know what I’ve never seen?

I’ve never seen a farmer try to harvest during planting season. When I lived behind that orchard, I never saw the farmer in the field picking orange blossoms off the trees in the Spring.

He could have done everything he knew. He could have worked himself to the bone. But there was no way he was going to harvest oranges in Texas in June.

Farmers know that they cannot do anything outside of the due season for their crop.

Have you thought about what season you are in? Are you trying to harvest when it’s really time to sow?

If you have a newborn, perhaps it’s not the best season to try to start an early morning Bible, exercise and planning routine. Instead focus on something simple like listening to an audio Bible while you play with or feed your baby.

If you have all your kids at home and your husband has to work a lot, perhaps it’s not the best season to start a new online business.

If you’re a new blogger still trying to figure out how it all works, maybe it’s not the best season to write an ebook, start a link up and contribute on 12 different blogs.

Everyone is in a different season.

Not too far from my little cul de sac neighborhood and the orange orchard, there was a sugar cane field. Sometimes they harvested as late as March when the orange trees were bare.

If the orange farmer didn’t know HIS crop and HIS season, he could have wasted time and energy either being jealous of the sugar cane farmer or he could have worked in vain to try to make his crops yield fruit out of season.

Friends, it doesn’t matter what season anyone else is in. It doesn’t matter if they are having the harvest of their lives. Good for them.

We need to know our season. There is such freedom in yielding to God’s timing. If we listen to HIS timing, we won’t run ourselves ragged trying to harvest the wrong things in the wrong season, because it will never work anyway.

Action step: I encourage you to identify your season today. Ask God what you should sow. Ask Him when it is time to harvest. Listen to Him. Trust Him.

Rest…in Him.

What season are you in? Are you sowing, harvesting or somewhere in the middle? Click here to share in the comments.

KidVentures-125p.s. My friend Jen just released a very cool resource for your summer, it’s called Kidventures. It’s an ebook filled with simple, detailed, fun adventures you can plan with your children this summer. You can pick up a copy here, or read more about my thoughts on it here.

4 Posts To Help You as a Mom, Wife and Worker

By | General | 3 Comments


(First of all I want to mention that the registration for the HelloMornings Summer Challenge starts today! You can register here.)

Great Words I Read This Week

1. Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…and How to Correct Them – Growing Leaders Blog
“Your child does not have to love you every minute. He’ll get over the disappointment of failure but he won’t get over the effects of being spoiled. So let them fail, let them fall, and let them fight for what they really value. If we treat our kids as fragile, they will surely grow up to be fragile adults. We must prepare them for the world that awaits them. Our world needs resilient adults not fragile ones.”

2. Don’t use a hammer to swat a fly off someone’s head. – John Maxwell Blog
Full of great advice for any relationship. “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

3. 40 Inspiring Workspaces Of The Famously Creative – Buzzfeed
Tsh shared this recently and I found it absolutely fascinating to view these photographs. It’s amazing what you can learn about creativity and productivity just from looking at where someone works.

Learning By Being Nosey…
Speaking of…did you get a chance to read Tsh Oxenreider and Stephanie Langford‘s interviews at my new site, My interviews are there too, if you’re interested.

Even if you’re not a blogger, I think looking into the routines and methods of other moms is incredibly enlightening and we can all learn so much from each other.

We have some excited things coming up at How They Blog, you can read all about it here.

Have a great weekend! Learn, grow and go be awesome!

Why Moms Need a Game Plan and How to Create One

By | Guest Posts | One Comment

photo credit

(Today I’m sharing over at

Don’t stop reading.

I’m going to tell you a sports story, but even if you’re not a sports fan, read to the end because there is a vital motherhood lesson woven into this tale of a coach’s son, a last second shot and one of most memorable moments in sports.

It was 1998. The NCAA College Men’s Basketball championship tournament. A small, relatively unknown school, Valparaiso, had not only made it into the tournament, but they were playing number 4 seed (meaning they’re really good) Ole Miss. No one expected them to win…and they weren’t.

Valparaiso was losing 67-69 with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. They got possession of the ball 94 feet from their basket. Miraculously, they threw the ball in, the coach’s son Bryce Drew caught it and shot it from behind the 3 point line with milliseconds left on the clock.

And then…you clicked here so you could hear how the story played out and the valuable motherhood lesson it teaches us. 🙂

It’s a Good Week to Be a Yes Mom

By | General | 23 Comments


By all accounts, last week was rough.

As moms, when devastating things happen, we can’t help but hold our children tighter. It’s the mama bear in us, we’re ready to fight. But when the scales begin to tip from fight to fear, for the sake of our families we need to adjust our sails.

So, maybe it’s a good week to be a “yes mom.” Maybe it’s a good week to make a memory, do the unexpected, embrace the life and loved ones we have.

Say yes when they:

  • ask you to read that book one. more. time.
  • want to say up late and snuggle.
  • say “watch me Mommy” for the 234,987th time.
  • ask for something you always say no to just because you don’t want to.
  • invite you to play tag/tea party/basketball

And maybe even throw in a few surprises:

  • take them on a pajama run.
  • have a story and hot cocoa night.
  • start the day with a movie, popcorn and snuggles.

Fear knocked at the door. Love answered. No one was there. – Old English Proverb

It’s a good week to send fear packing.

How can you be a “yes mom” this week? Click here to share your ideas.