The Five Gift Rule| Learning to Minimize Excessive Holiday Spending

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My husband and I were in a hard place financially last year around Christmas time. The bills exceeded our income. I had been home for a year caring for our one-year-old daughter who suffered from a chronic skin condition. My husband was working, but it was not enough to supplement all of our expenses. We did not have much money and I felt a lot of shame around not being able to give our daughter a BIG first Christmas. But then I heard about the Five Gift Rule on the radio and it changed my whole perspective on gift giving. It also helped our family create a new Christmas tradition that doesn’t involve spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gifts for our child.

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13 Strategies For Moms Who Are In School (Part 2)

Good evening, mamas and friends!

Welcome to Part 2 of 13 Strategies for Moms Who Are In School. Today, I want to share the remaining six strategies with you in hopes that they will offer support for moms who are balancing school, family, marriage, and other responsibilities. Again, I want to reiterate that this is not a “Do More,” “Be Better,” or “Do Better” list. These are merely suggestions that may be helpful for moms who are in school.

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13 Strategies For Moms Who Are In School (Part 1)

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I was driving home from class one evening and instantly burst into tears. Feelings of exhaustion, inadequacy, and doubt swept over me. Why had I chosen to go back to school? Is being married, having a full-time job, managing my personal blog, and chasing my two-year-old around not enough? Who do I think I am? Didn’t I just have a mental breakdown several months ago after returning to school, which lead to me having to take 4 quarters off? How will I do it? I don’t have the capacity. I am not smart enough. I do not have time. I am tired and I am only one week in. I cried and I cried and I cried.

Moments later, I received a very encouraging text from my pastor that stopped me right in the middle of my pity party.

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RIP Harambe | 10 Things I Would Say To The Mother At The Cincinnati Zoo

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This week the news and social media are flooded with stories of the 3-year-old boy who fell into Harambe’s exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. The incident alone is enough to shake anyone up. There are some who are outraged at the fact that the 17 year old endangered silverback gorilla was killed, whereas others are outraged that the mother of the child was irresponsible and did not watch her son closely enough. The young boy who fell into the exhibit is of color; now racial and undignified comments are being made about the family all across the nation.

Below some of the comments I’ve read within the past few days:

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To The Woman Who Watched My Child While I Slept: You Are My Hero!

 

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This week, I was given an unexpected gift when a special woman decided to give me free meals, a quiet space to rest, and a safe place to just talk about all the things weighing on my heart (finances, a past due project, insecurities, and marriage).

I work a little over 40 hours a week and blog part-time. Most nights I do not get to bed until after midnight because I am only free to write at night. Most mornings I am up at 4:30am to get ready for work. Because our car is currently not working, I commute to work by train and walk a half mile to and from work every day. After work, I pick my daughter up from childcare and walk for about 10 minutes to get home.

This is not an ideal situation. However, I am not complaining, nor is it my motive to broadcast my problems for attention. I just wanted to provide context so that you are able to understand how grateful I am for the gift of rest and extra help this week.

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Beauty From Ashes | They Tried To Destroy Her, But She Fought Back

Today, I am honored to share the story of Ta’Keisha Lowe. This young lady has inspired me in more ways than she realizes. I have only met her once in person, but I follow her on social media often. Her faith, resiliency, and boldness speaks volumes to who she is.

I reached out to Ta’Keisha and asked if she’d be willing to share her story on Courage From Within. Without hesitation, she said “yes” to the opportunity. Her story is one that you read and say “Only God”! Only God can take our ashes and pain and transform them into something beautiful for His glory. Only God can take the severely broken pieces of our hearts and make them whole again.

Her story reminds me that we do not have to let our negative experiences dictate our future or outcome. We can change for the better and use our hurt to heal others. Our freedom invites others to be free. Read Ta’ Keisha’s story below:

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Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

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My husband came to me and openly admitted that he could no longer carry the financial burden alone. I knew the day would come when I would need to return to work, but honestly, I wasn’t ready. I was most worried about entrusting my child to someone else’s care. I wanted to be home with her. I desired to teach, nurture, and create a fun environment of learning, instead of paying someone else to do it.

I was worried about adapting to a new work environment after being on maternity leave for well over a year. I simply did not want to return back to work…so I took my time applying for jobs. I didn’t put any real effort into it for months. But then I saw something that got my attention.

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