busy

EP 060: Prayer + Soul Care as a Busy Mom with Valerie Woerner

Facebook_EP_060.png

As moms, it is easy to make excuses when it comes to taking care of our soul. However, when we have little kids or are in a super busy season, that's the time that we honestly need it the most. We are constantly pouring out and don’t realize that we need poured into. And the more we make excuses now, the harder it is going to be to get back to taking care of our souls. Val Woerner is the owner of ValMarie Paper, where she creates journals and tools that are really help “cut through the noise” of everyday life and find fullness of life in the presence of the Lord. Even if you're busy, even if you're a mom of little ones, no matter your season. And I want to encourage you by telling you that whatever you have to give now is more than enough.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Val Discuss:

  • Why you should put effort into your relationship with God, especially in the busy season of raising little ones.

  • Ways you can get quiet, connect with the Lord, and take care of your soul in your everyday life.

  • The importance of avoiding excuses when it comes to taking care of your soul.

  • What the word “renew” means and what the Bible says about it, so that you can fight everyday anxieties and battles.

Mentioned in this Episode:

SuperMom_Vault_2.png

 

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes? Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

 

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Don't have time to listen_.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is                   The Purpose Show.

 _______________________________________________________________

Hey beauties! Today I am introducing you to someone who's become an Instagram friend, not just somebody that I follow and who follows me. Valerie Woerner, she is a beautiful soul. She really is. The more I follow her, the more I get to know her, the more we pass messages back and forth every now and again, the more I come to just love and admire her so much. She is just such a godly woman. I'm really inspired by her.

Val is the owner of ValMarie paper. ValMarie paper creates journals and tools that are really beautifully created to be practical tools that help you “cut through the noise” as Valerie puts it so beautifully, of everyday life and find fullness of life in the presence of the Lord. Even if you're busy, even if you're a mom of little ones, no matter your season.

She very pointedly speaks about that and speaks about how sometimes we moms, specifically, can use the busyness of our season and the out-of-our-control chaos that comes with having little ones, pregnancies and things like that, as sort of an excuse to skip out on the important stuff like prayer, journaling, reflection and that quiet soul care that we so desperately need. And she also speaks pointedly about how this is actually a time where we really need to be more on guard and diving more deeply into those types of soul care things.

So, I'm really excited to let you in on this chat with Val. I would encourage you as always to listen with an open mind and open heart and prayerfully consider taking action in some way on this in your life.

And so, without further ado, let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hi Val, and thank you so much for joining us today.

VALERIE: Yeah, and thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat.

ALLIE: Yeah. Okay. So, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family and your story.

VALERIE: I'm Valerie Woerner and I live in south Louisiana with my husband, Tyler. We have been married seven years. We were actually best friends for a few years beforehand and I swear I told God “I'm not marrying him. If I marry him, I'm going to be so upset.” But anyway, long story short, I fell for him. God knew better than I did. Crazy. We have two little girls, Vivi & Vana. They are 4 & 2. Just lots of fun and I run a business called ValMarie paper. We sell prayer journals and a couple other things. I have also written a book, but I’m working on another now on motherhood coming out next year.

ALLIE: Good. Yeah. Okay. So one thing that I love about you and really the reason that I wanted to have you on was because you speak very graciously but also pointedly about how mothers sometimes can use just the busyness of our season of raising kids, especially pregnancy, babies and not sleeping as much in this “in the thick of it” season as, I mean honestly, I think this word will upset some people, but as sort of an excuse to skip the important stuff, like the journaling, prayer, reflection, the soul care that we need. So, tell us about that, how you feel about that and how we can stop doing that.

VALERIE: Yes, I think it's crazy because it is easy to become an excuse whenever we have little kids, but that's the time that we honestly need it the most because we are being poured out so much that we have to be poured into. I believe that’s through Jesus and I know you do too. That's where our strength is going to come from.

So, one thing that I think a lot about for prayer is that as we start to drift from our prayer time with Him, it becomes easier and easier to silence His call whenever it is time to pray. But whenever we just feel prompted to pray, it just becomes easier to shut that out and just feel like we have responsibilities, we have things to do.

So, I think for me, I just want to encourage moms that not only do you need it right now, that's why we don't want to make an excuse, but also the more we make it an excuse, the harder it's going to be to get back. We're not just gonna jump back when they go to school, suddenly have this deep relationship with God and be like, “Okay God, I'm back and let's just get back to it.”

It's going to take a lot of work to get back. And I always say it's not that God has moved away from us, but it's more like we've walked away. I don't know if that makes sense, but I definitely feel like we need Him now more than ever in this season. And I would never want a mom to feel like it is a good enough excuse to say “no” to God for the sake of our kids.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'm out of that season as of now. Probably going to fling myself back into it later this year, but I think it's just a lot. You're not intentionally like, “Oh, I'll just wait and when the kids go to school, I'll be better at it.” It's like a subconscious, almost feels like it has to happen that way, but it's sad because then we're teaching our little ones…they're not seeing us do that. They're not seeing us have that time. They're not hearing us pray out loud. It's just not a part of it.

And I think that is one lie of the enemy for sure that kind of sneakily gets us out of that flow and away from closeness with the Lord when we need it most.

But I love that you say that. I love that you say we need it the most during that time because it is a crazy time for sure.

Okay. I think the main thing about that time of little ones especially, and I think it can go, it can transfer over. Now I'm busy, more busy, but it's a different and better kind of busy. It's not like “chaos busy” with the kids. They're just older and there's baseball and homeschooling and horse lessons, more on the go, I guess, and I do fine with that. Rather than out of your control, the kids are going crazy, you're pregnant and sick. That's a different type of busyness, but I think in that season it can feel like it's just total chaos.

It's happening minute-by-minute and the kids are too little to really be expected to play quietly to give yourself space and pregnancy, you can't always get up super early. So, in the thick of it, how do you get quiet and connect with the Lord and take care of your soul in that?

VALERIE:  Yes. Okay. So, this has been so on my heart. I know we know this. I know we know that it's not about our quiet time. That we can experience God throughout our days, but my big goal lately has been to just live with a deep consciousness of God. So as I go through my days, I'm seeing Him everywhere. I'm seeing things to be grateful for. His presence is changing my actions and I think in that respect, I think it's almost, I don't want to say easier to do, because it's not easier to do with the little kids, but how full our house is shouldn't be changed by that.

And that should be encouraging. That's not to be discouraging to mom's like, “Hey, you should have it together,” but more that our goal is not like we have to have this hour-long thing in the morning. I still recommend, I mean I want to do that because I want that deep time with Him, but if we're going through a short season where all we have is throughout the day, that is enough.

Whatever we have to give to God is enough. I wrote about this in a journal that's going to be coming out with the book, but I can't even think of the story, but whenever the widow gives two coins, just knowing that whatever you have to give, if you're giving that to God, that's all He wants.

If you only have 15 minutes and that's what you're giving, you should not feel bad about that. There's people who have three hours in the morning and they give Him 15 minutes. And God probably wants more for that person. But I think knowing if you truly, truly do not have this extended time, whatever you have to give is going to be enough.

But like I said, I really think it's like an all-day, just living in His presence and learning how to do that has been so rewarding. Even more than what I've learned in the last few years about prayer, learning how to live with Him every day the last six months has changed me so much and very unexpectedly.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. I think I totally agree. About, I don't know, maybe 2-3 years ago, I wrote a blog post about what you're saying. It was a realization for me and that's where it was born out of, that you don't have to have that “set aside” quiet time. I'm sitting on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a journal and candles and all this stuff. I have that now. Now my season has changed.

But I remember trying to force that when I was in the baby-having season and I realized that God doesn't want that perfect time. Of course, if you can get it, take it. Sometimes you just can't in that space. I think realizing that you can talk to him while you're doing the dishes, while you're driving, and also praying out loud, letting my kids hear that. At first they're like, “Mom, what are you doing?”

But just letting them see that mom has a relationship with the living God and I'm talking to Him because I'm a little stressed today. Or I feel like I yelled too much today and I'm sorry and we're going to work it out. Being really raw with them. It was so huge. And just that realization that it doesn't have to be perfect and pretty and Instagram- worthy. It's just real. And just like you would with a friend or your husband, just talking it out as you go.

Then when they get a little older and they can kind of play, my youngest is 3 ½ so I can say, “Go be busy, go play outside” and I can get an hour in the morning or in the afternoon if I want. And it's beautiful because I didn't have it before. But you can't just ditch it altogether.

VALERIE: Right. And also, just knowing when that season ends and not letting it stay longer than it has to be. Finding the grace but not wallowing in it also.

ALLIE: Right. And would you say that that kind of is where it becomes an excuse?

VALERIE: Yeah, yeah.

ALLIE:  Okay. So, through your company, ValMarie paper, which I love. I don't know if you guys remember, if you've been around a while, but on Instagram a while ago, maybe last year, I shared your journals. Brian still uses the men's. It's really neat too. And I've always heard this about journaling and I'm a big journaler but I don't go back and look. Ever. And it's been really neat to really go back and look at what was happening and how big our prayers felt at that time and how now it's like, “Oh yeah, I forgot that God even did that.” We're not worried about that anymore. It's neat.

So, you create, and I love the way you word this “practical tools that equip women to cut through the noise of everyday life and find fullness of life in the presence of the Lord.”

So, tell us what that looks like day-to-day, what kinds of journals you create, what does it look like to use them and how do you help women do that?

VALERIE: Yeah. Our main product is our six-month and our yearly now. We have a six-month journal that's broken down into the months. So, you fill it out once at the beginning of the month, which is perfect for anybody in a busy season because sometimes it's hard to commit to writing things every day. But you write it down once at the beginning of the month and then you just carry it with you and you can pray. I pray normally like one or two sections a day. I never pray the whole thing. It's never the goal to go through all the sections in a day.

But the goal is just that you can do it while you're doing dishes. I have mine on my passenger seat anytime I'm in the car. In our bathtub we can hang it up in the little spigots and pray while I'm taking my nightly Epsom salt bath.

All of the things that we do, even our free pdfs and different things like that, are designed to take these spiritual ideas that people can say like, “Okay, that sounds really good. Now how do I put that into my life?” And because our world is so noisy, we make it a little bit more accessible for people so that they're not having to, I don't know, get stuck somewhere. “Here, this is the format, go for it.” We pray that this is a tool that people will be able to use and really make their own. The stories that we hear…it's crazy how people are using it and what they're getting out of it.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love that. I was already following you and then I noticed that you did this anxiety, “challenge/study” and it was really amazing as somebody who does struggles with anxiety. My whole family actually. I really believe that this is a generational thing. I really think that that happens more often than people realize. All the women in my family just struggle with it. So, I really loved what you did there.

I know we're not really talking about that, but you spoke to your experience with anxiety and how you combat that with prayer. I just admire you for that so much. And I know other women listening struggle with that.

VALERIE: Oh Gosh. Yes. Okay. So, I always say I was a worried, little child when I was young, so my mom actually prayed with me a lot. And that's where I learned how to pray. She just instilled that in me. But as I got older, I was writing my first book, had just finished writing, and I have heard people talk about it a lot, whenever you're writing a book there's a lot of spiritual warfare. I wrote in there about a season where I had a lot of anxiety in high school and started feeling like something was wrong with my heart. And I woke up in the middle of the night, during the editing process of the book, and I thought I was dying.

Tyler was next to me and I said, “Go get Vivi, I need to say goodbye to her.” We called an ambulance. My mom lived down the street. She came over to stay with Vivi. She prayed. She came in the door and she prayed with me. And by the time the ambulance was standing in our doorway, my heart had stopped beating (that way). I thought for sure the only way my heart was going to stop beating the way it was, was for it to stop.

The ambulance came in. It was actually somebody I knew, a friend of a friend, and she was like, “I think that was a panic attack.” And I was like, “There's no way that was a panic attack. It was so real.” I googled everything about it. I can be a judgmental person, telling people to buck up and everything like that, but experiencing that…

I finally shared it on Instagram and the people who responded and were just like, “I've been in the hospital for that” or “I've had a panic attack.” I had no idea how prevalent that was.

The Renew Challenge that we did was me looking up the word “mind” in the Bible and just knowing that I had to figure out how to control my mind, because it will take us places we don't want to go. And even yesterday my daughter flipped out at the pool because there were wasps. And I'm having this spiritual conversation of, “Vivi, you have to get these thoughts out of your mind. The devil wants you to focus on the wasp.” I said, “Don't think about the wasp. Think about me.” Taking our thoughts captive and not only taking them captive, but then filling them up with truth is the answer.

And so, the 14-day challenge is basically 14 days of just pounding that message in to where you really start to change your thoughts.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey friend! It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you. It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/courses-1.

Check it out! It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes? Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  alliecasazza.com/courses-1.

_______________________________________________________________

ALLIE: Okay. So that's amazing. And I went through it and it was amazing. So, I know then it was email-based and you're doing something new with it now. So, is that going to be still available or how can people get into that?

VALERIE: Um, yeah, we actually have it on our website about ValMariepaper.com, but it's going to be our Renew Ebook. We've had people say that they've gone through it and they wanted to go back to it. And I've even wanted to go back to it but not wanted to go back through all the emails. So, I think we'll have both options just so if you want to take it slow, you can do that, and get the constant reminder for two weeks.

ALLIE: Yeah. I just loved the way you had it set up. It was so powerful. Just looking, like you said, at the word “mind” in the Bible. There's so much out there about how powerful the mind is and I think people, especially in the Christian sphere, shy away from that because it seems “new age” and really a lot of it, not all of it, but a lot of it is biblical, right?

He is The Creator and He spoke the universe into existence. We're made in His image. He gave us a working mind, working bodies. We have a lot of power. The things we speak and think, they do something to us. And so yeah, I think it's really powerful to kind of stop being the victim and taking ownership of the power of our minds and getting the enemy out of there. He doesn't belong there. And taking that back for ourselves. So that's what I got out of what you said. And I loved it. So yeah, I just had to bring that up.

VALERIE: And it's crazy. It's empowering. I know I've already mentioned it once when we talk about not being a victim, that is empowering stuff. It is not to make us feel like we can't have a pity party. That's my whole book. We don't want to have a pity party. We think we do, but we don't. We want to live these full abundant lives.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. That translates to everything. Everything. Even just the other night I was having a conversation with a friend and we were both kind of just griping about “how good junk food is” and “it's so hard to make good choices.” I just snapped out of it and was like, “we have a choice.” We're so blessed. We have a choice with what we can eat. That’s a luxury that so many people don't even have. And really? We want to whine and complain about how junk food is so good and health food sucks. How it sucks to have stay thin. No. Let's choose abundant life here and fuel our bodies, love ourselves well and take care of our temples. Just switching that dialogue I think is so huge.

Like you said, the world is so noisy and it's negative noise, mostly. It's easy to get swept up in every area. Anxiety, prayer, motherhood, marriage, health, work, everything. It's just easy to get swept up in the negative.  

VALERIE: Yeah, and if we start exercising that muscle that “I can control this thought” it's going to get easier. We’re not going to be combating it every day like it's this huge thing. It’s just going to be easier.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. It's like a muscle that you flex and exercise and it gets stronger and easier. I love that. And that's hope, because in the beginning this can be hard to figure out how to navigate this. Having a spiritual relationship with the Lord in the middle of the chaos of motherhood, that’s not easy. I mean it can be later, but yeah, it's hard to start. It's hard to remember. There's so much going on. There’s so much pulling for our attention and I think if we can just remember, “this is the priority, though. This is where I need to live.”

I always say this and I just want to say it again, for anyone who hasn't heard me say it. When you're staying in the presence of God and you're spending time with Him every day, all day, He will remind you of things and help you focus on the right things.

There is so much pulling for your attention, so much on your to do this. And He will be your guide when you're just sitting with Him all day. You know, I've found that to be helpful. I'm more productive. I'm more energetic. I’m more loving and patient when I'm there.

And that's what really matters. Not getting everything done on my list.

Do you have anything else that you want to say about this? That I'm forgetting to ask you? That you're passionate about with this for these women?

VALERIE: I think we have to just keep reminding ourselves that prayer is actually productive. As silly as it sounds. I know my friend, Michelle Meyer says that a lot. We want to not feel like we always have to be productive but at the same time just know that prayer is really productive.

This month I do Powersheets and I'm pretty sure you know about them. Instead of the “five daily things;” I’ve not been doing well at those. So, instead of putting the actual things that I want to do, “pray about what I eat, pray about my sleep, don't hit snooze,” now it’s “pray about sleep.” And this month I'm seeing a huge difference.

I don't want to say I'm not actively doing anything but I'm starting with the prayer and that's going to change my actions. But it's also going to just change my heart because I'm giving it to God. I was thinking about this today, just remembering that once we pray about something, there is so much victory before we even know the answer because we know we have asked God for something that we want and if He has heard us and if He doesn't deliver, it's not because He's trying to keep things from us. It’s because He has something better.

That makes me want to pray about everything. I want to pray about every single thing so that I know this has all been covered in prayer. Whatever God does now is going to be His best plan, and not like I'm leaving things on the table of missing out on blessings that He could have because I didn't ask.

We have to know how to ask with a heart that's aligned with Him, and that is through knowing the Word. I just feel like that's something that if we could remember that as we're trying to muster up this desire to pray, I think that's helpful to know and will help motivate us.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Okay. So, I'm going to link to everything in show notes that you mentioned. Your website and all that, but where can our listeners find more of you? Like what social media platform are you most active on?

VALIERE: I love Instagram. Val Woerner is my handle. Then we have our business, ValMarie paper. It's more focused on sharing hacks to use the journal and different tips that other people are doing. We blog. But if you go to our Instagram you'll find everything there.

And I wanted to ask you a question. So, what do you feel like is the thing that you pray for the most? And this is not like a big like personal, but just whether it's God's peace, God's blessing or something like that?

ALLIE: Yeah. That's a really good question. I can think of a handful of things but I’d say maybe the thing I pray for most is wisdom in responding to things. I feel like that's a really big part of my job and something that I've always felt like I'm too blunt. I feel like it's a gift but also kind of a curse sometimes. I can say what I think and what needs to be said, what needs to be heard, but I want to do it in love. In my marriage, to my kids. I have one daughter and she's just very sensitive. It’s not a natural thing for me to respond in a nice way. With the boys it's like “Ah, whatever, just go do this.” And with her it's like “I'm really hurt that you didn't say…” She just is so sensitive.

And in my job, the messages that I get can be unkind, or really heavy, and I don’t know what to say. So, just that wisdom, “Do I even need to respond to this? “If I do, how can I be your light in this?” It's hard and I often will send an apology and a corrective answer because I'm human. So, I think almost daily, like just wisdom and responding to different situations.

VALERIE: That's awesome. My mom was probably similar to you. I don't want to say she wasn't compassionate. But she was compared to the other parent's spectrum, we were like, “Why won't you let us stay home if we have a cough?” We have to be throwing up or bleeding to stay home.

But I so appreciate how our mom (I'm saying this for me and my twin sister) parented us. She turned out two amazing daughters and an amazing son. So, there's that.

ALLIE: It's just my personality and also having all the boys, they will walk all over me. It’s hard to translate and switch over to my daughter. It’s something that I think the Lord is just using to stretch me.

VALERIE: And stretch her too, so that's good.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. So, thank you so much. This was such a good interview. I'm so excited to share this! And thank you again for your time. I really appreciate it.

VALERIE: Of course! I'm so appreciative to be on!

ALLIE: Okay guys, we'll link to everything in show notes and I will talk to you guys next time.


_______________________________________________________________

This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 020: Balance & Simplicity For the Busy Family

Facebook_Podcast_Template.png

 

Being busy is either a badge of honor or something that is seen as really negative in our culture today. Like if you don’t have a ton of whitespace on your calendar you are focused on the wrong things and you are too busy to really enjoy your life. Or some people won’t even say the word busy or I hear them say they don’t really like the word busy. I think that both ends of the spectrum and both views are pretty incorrect. I think there is a middle ground. The key is finding systems and rhythms that will help you in whatever place you are at and whatever season you are in. It is finding balance and simplifying your rhythms so you can enjoy the people in your home and run your life well so that it’s not running you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The difference between being overwhelmed by busy and staying balanced in the busy.

  • How creating rhythms creates will bring enjoyment back into your home.

  • The value of systems + rhythms in a busy life.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Developing Rhythms Workbook Mockup.png

If you are loving the idea of systemizing the things that you do on a regular basis, falling into some simple household lifestyle rhythms that will help you clear your headspace and get things that you do all of the time into a normal rhythm so you are less stressed and more productive, then the Developing Rhythms Workbook is going to help you so much! 


Help_A_Girl_Out!.png

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

_______________________________________________________________

Hey sweet friends! Welcome to Episode 20 of The Purpose Show! In this episode, I am going to have a real casual discussion. I really want this to be a relaxed, casual discussion about balance and simplicity when you are a busy family.

Busyness is something that I have thought a lot about in the last year or so. It has been a part of my thinking process. I have noticed how people use the word and react to the word. I see a couple of different things with the word busy.

First of all, I see that people use it as this badge of honor. People say that they are busy in a way and with a tone that says, “I am just so busy!” It’s this thing that we say as an excuse or reason that we can’t do something. Or maybe that we are justifying not doing something. I noticed it used as “they’re not busy, I am busy so that is why I am not doing this” or “yeah, I would do that too if I weren’t so busy.”

I also notice that there has become this trend of real negativity around the word busy. On the one hand, it is this badge of honor and valor as a mom that you are so busy and then swinging on the other side, I also notice that it is very negative. Some people won’t even say the word busy or I hear them say they don’t really like the word busy. They don’t like to use it.  But what else are you going to use?

I kind of get it. I always like to say, “ours is a very full life” because busy kind of implies that you’re not aware of other things that are maybe more important than your schedule, running around with your head cut off.

But there’s this other way where it is very negative. I see it a lot in my niche. The minimalist community. It’s a very negative word.  “You shouldn’t be so busy.” “Relax, calm down, stop filling your schedule.” I think that I maybe bought into that a couple of years ago. Maybe I would buy into it if my kids were younger or if my life was a bit different?

Really, in the last year or so, I have shifted my perspective with busyness. Because I am busy. My life became very busy. It is busy in different ways, which I will dive into in regards to the contrast between our old life, which was busy but definitely more “free” busy and up-to-us busy, and the transition that we made last year that had us more traditionally busy with school, sports and things like that. Where we have landed now with our family, which seems to be the “sweet spot” for our family.

I will share some things that helped me find balance and simplicity in the midst of those different seasons.

Right now, our kids are still pretty little – our oldest just turned nine at the time of this recording. We own our own business. I am CEO and I run everything. We have an amazing team in place that handles most of the back end work for me. I really only do the things that I am passionate about, that I love doing, and that need to be done by me like recording this podcast, recording live streams, and connecting with the women in my audience. Things that need to be from me.

Things are pretty relaxed, but they are busy. I have four kids. They are getting a bit older to where they have interest in things. There’s art classes. Baseball practice. Guitar lessons.  Everyone is finding their footing and discovering who they are. It has just become busier.

We are now homeschooling. Homeschooling a 3rd grader is a lot different than homeschooling a 1st grader. It’s just fuller. There’s a lot more teach. It is more important that they get a bit more on track with things. Everything gets a little bit more “legit”.

Things just get busy. I feel like what else can I do? Tell my kids, “that’s great that you are interested in baseball, but it puts something else on our schedule so we are not going to do it because we don’t believe in being busy”? My sons love baseball so much. I love baseball. It’s my favorite sport. I played my entire life. Brian played for a really big chunk too. We just love it. It’s something that we love. The kids are interested in it.

We are happy to sign them up, although the baseball league maybe has different priorities than we do. They are little psycho and it’s a crazy schedule. But that’s OK. We make it a part of our life and we enjoy this season.

I don’t think that busy-ness needs to be either a badge of honor or something that is seen as really negative. Like if you don’t have a ton of whitespace on your calendar you are focused on the wrong things and you are too busy to really enjoy your life. I think that both ends of the spectrum and both views are pretty incorrect.

I think that there is a middle spot. Maybe you have a really full schedule and you are a really busy person, or if you’re not busy and you are in a “sweet, quiet” season. Maybe you listen to church on the podcast from your living room because you are exhausted from being up all night with a nursing baby. Maybe you just moved and you don’t really have any friends in your new area and you don’t really go out and do anything. Maybe you homeschool and you aren’t really a social homeschooler, and you are home a lot.

It just depends on who you are in your season whether you see yourself as busy or not.  I think there is a middle ground no matter what your schedule looks like. Being present, mindful, enjoying your family and life. That’s what my focus has become the last year or so as our season and our family has so changed so rapidly.

Lots of friends who follow me on Instagram have messaged me saying things like, “wow, you guys have come full circle. You’ve changed so much. You guys are always on the move. Something is always on the horizon. How do you manage always so being so busy?” It has been a whirlwind. There have been some hard days, but it was all fun, good things. Positive changes.

Buying a camper, renovating it, and touring the United States with my family. That was a dream. It was hard, for sure. But it was a dream. It was so great. I just wanted to be present and enjoy it, even in the hard parts. Stopping homeschooling for a season and putting the kids in public school. Doing baseball.

Having a more traditional American mom life where we are picking up and dropping off from school every day. Running the errands, the business, household tasks. Grabbing the kids, throwing dinner together and running out the door for baseball practice. That was a neat season too. I felt like I learned to be mindful and present. Enjoy it and be fulfilled in that season in a different way than I was when we had a relaxed schedule.

We were really free and did un-schooling a lot for homeschooling. We traveled the U.S. visiting friends. It was very relaxed and busy in a different way. Now we have settled somewhere in between.

Baseball has started back. We have guitar lessons a couple of times a week. We are doing homeschooling. Running the business. We have hired a bunch of new team members to help us run the business without us actually having to do everything. It is a pretty decent balance.

I think the key is finding systems and rhythms that will help you in whatever place you are at – whatever kind of busy or not busy that you are. Whatever your lifestyle is, however or wherever you are raising your family, I think the key is to just create systems and rhythms that help you automate the things in your life and your day that you are always having to do on repeat. You can clear your headspace and be mindful in the midst of whatever kind of busyness that you are dealing with. Right where you are at. However old your kids are. However young they are.

I think each season is so sweet, even the really hard ones. I look back on our life (if you listen to episode 6 of the podcast you will understand this more fully) and even the seasons of poverty, difficulty, depression, and struggle, living in this desert place in our life, that season had so many sweet things about it. There are some that I noticed that were sweet and there are some that I wish I had, but did not. Now looking back I see that about that time.

For me my focus is to try to find balance. Simplify every single thing that I can in our current season. Creating rhythms. Regular things that automate my tasks and my roll as a wife, mom, homemaker, and CEO, so that I can get it off of my plate and out of my way.  Even if it is something that I am doing, there are rhythms in place that help me not to think about it so much.

For example, my laundry rhythm is waking up in morning, get settled with a cup of coffee.  One of the first things I do is go upstairs and start a load of laundry. Every morning. I know at some point, whether it is before lunch or after dinner, that load of laundry will be switched, dried, folded, and put away completely so that there is one full load of laundry happening every single day. What this does is form a habit that I don’t have to think about. It makes it impossible for me to get to that place where you have “laundry mountain” just looming over you. Where it is really overwhelming, you’re totally behind and burdened by the laundry.  It’s just something that I have to do.

As minimal as I am, I have people in my house. And those people wear clothes…mostly. As long as there are people in my house that are wearing clothes I am going to have laundry to do. That’s just something that is a part of my roll. A part of my life. A part of my family. It’s always going to be there. That is something that can be rhythmatized or automated. I have to do the laundry. I don’t have someone who comes every day and does the laundry for me… it’s me. So I have automated it.

Yes, I am still physically doing it. It is taking up my time. But I have made it fit into my life in a way that is very habitual so I don’t have to think about it so much. I don’t have to think, “O crap, when was the last time I did laundry? I should probably do a load.” It’s just a part of my normal day.

Sure there are days where things get thrown off. Maybe I am in a rush. I might have to skip it. That’s fine, the next day maybe I will do two loads. Doing one load a day and you happen to miss one here or there, doesn’t really matter. You are still good to go. Because it is really hard to get behind on the laundry if you do one every day.

See what I mean now?  The laundry is something that is a big deal and stresses a lot of people out. It is off of my brain and out of that headspace for me. I never think about it. It is almost never a stressor for me. It is just rhythmic and habitual. Finding ways that I could do that with everything, or as much as I possibly could, really helped me.

In a business sense, that meant hiring people as soon as I could. Even sometimes before I could really financially afford it. Just delegating tasks to them and freeing myself up to focus on revenue-generating tasks. I wasn’t having to do graphic design anymore. I could focus on creating a new course. Writing a new book. Doing a new video series. Delegating helps you to focus on other things.

Making laundry a habit. Sweeping up after meals. Rinsing the dishes every time after we eat. Wiping down the counters every time I walk into the kitchen to get something to drink, which is a lot between coffee and water. Taking a baby wipe and just doing a quick wipe down of the counter and toilet every time I go to use the restroom. Little things like that just add up. This is why that although my house is lived in and there are probably things in the floor or on the table, that when someone drops by I don’t feel super embarrassed because my house is a  mess. It is always pretty much ready for company. It’s picked up and clean and functioning. I don’t have to worry about the bathroom being super embarrassing if someone drops by. I was in there in the last couple of hours and I did a quick wipe down.

See what I mean? Rhythmatizing the regular things so that it is easier for you no matter how busy you are. If your kids go to school and you are doing pick up and drop off every day and you only have a few minutes in between to work, get dinners started, and take care of your house. Doing little things. Maybe wake up a bit earlier and develop some solid household rhythms. Something every day adds up. It gets things done and taken care of so you are not stressing about it all of the time.

_______________________________________________________________

Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend?  Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood.  So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries.  How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar.  How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course.  It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you?  Does this sound like something that would really help you right now?  Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened.

_______________________________________________________________

When my kids were going to school a few of the systems and rhythms that really helped me had to do with when the kids got home from school. When they got home from school, it was always pretty crazy and that was hard for me to adjust to because we had never really done that before. It was really overwhelming. I felt like the day was really long and my kids weren’t used to going to school. They would come home super cranky and exhausted.

I would get them from school and we would come inside the house. There was a shoe bin, hooks, and a wooden box that was for school paperwork. They would come in, put their shoes in the bin, hang up their backpacks, and then put any school paperwork in the slot for me to go through. That was a rhythm.

They would do 30 minutes of just being separated. It simplified our afternoon. It simplified “cranky syndrome” in our house. They would split up and go for 30 minutes and just “veg out.”  They could play technology, color, read, play with toys, take a nap, sit in their room quietly, talk to me – whatever they wanted. But it was a time to separate and introvert.

I am an introvert. Bella is an introvert. Leland is an introvert too, I think. The kids just really needed to be alone for a second before they just jumped into doing homework or getting ready for baseball. Those things really worked for me

Crockpot dinners were huge when the kids were in school and we had baseball right after. I did crockpot dinners four nights a week. We eat at home for six nights a week, so I was really only “cooking” two nights a week. The rest were done in the morning as part of my morning rhythm. After the kids went to school, I would put dinner in the crockpot.

It helped during that time. It got dinner done, people fed. Sometimes we would even have to put our dinner in glass Tupperware, take it in a bag to the baseball field and eat “picnic style” while we watched the boys play. They would eat in between breaks. That was our family at that point in time. It was so busy and so crazy, but it was also super fun. I met my family where we were at in that season. We tried something different and we did what we had to do.

The kids went to school mainly because I felt like, “I am not Jesus. I am not perfect and I can’t do it all.” I was really, really struggling with homeschooling the kids.  Even with Brian here helping so much with running the business, and I had only a couple of employees. Now we have 9 or 10 in place. There were a lot of things that I was doing that didn’t need to be done by me. I hadn’t delegated those things yet.

We put them in school thinking we would need a year to get the business running more on its own without needing so much of me. But we ended up doing that in just a few months. When winter break came we just said goodbye to the kids’ teachers and ended up not sending them back. It was great. It was good news because my heart is for homeschooling. We were able to get back to it a bit sooner.

Doing the public school thing really taught me how important rhythms really are. I have always known that but it really taught me how much it can help you guys, my audience, those who don’t homeschool, who do have their kids in school. It is a lot crazier. Maybe there is a lot less on you to do during the day, but it definitely makes you busier and your schedules a lot crazier. Rhythms and systems are everything.

I also learned about food-prepping versus meal-prepping during this public school time. I still do this and it really helps me. Food prepping is where once a week you get basics.  Potatoes grilled with butter and garlic and put them in the fridge. Cook some chicken with some basic seasoning that would go with any recipe. Not just go to the store and put everything away.  Wash and chop the strawberries. Chop the bell peppers. “Prep” things.

This allowed me to make little food and dinner plates for everyone as meals. The reason that I loved it instead of meal prepping is because you might make a meal for that night, but when night comes you don’t feel like having any of those meals that you made. It sucks.

I am an emotional decision maker, so I decide what I am wearing that day, what I want to eat for lunch and dinner based on my mood, how I feel, and what sounds good. So that meal planning was really hard for me.

Food prepping totally solved that. I just make a bunch of basic things.  Ground beef sauteed with onions and garlic then drain it really well and store it. Just basic foods prepared so I could put together things for a recipe or just make little plates of snacks, protein, veggies, and fruits.  It was super easy. It simplified meals so much, especially lunches for me and Brian when we were working and the kids were at school. It still helps me now that we are homeschooling again.

Now the kids are all at home. The mornings are slower. Around 8 or 8:30, 2-3 days a week, I will go to my office. My office is in a bump-out in my garage. I will work for 2-3 hours in the morning a couple of days a week. Sometimes it’s more, but usually that’s normal. Then we will hang out, run some errands, get some house stuff done.

We do our homeschooling in the afternoon. It was the funniest, simple little tweak, but just accepting that not everything has to be done in the morning when everyone is at their best.  We don’t have to do school when everyone else is doing school. I just thought out of the box and asked myself, “what works best for me right now?” Right now it works best for me to get some work done in the morning and let the kids just relax, play outside, and get some energy out. Then we have lunch and Emmett goes down for a rest, and we can do school. It just simplified it thinking that it was OK to do school in the afternoon. Now we don’t even start school until 1 or 2, then we go till dinnertime and we are done for the day. That works really, really well for us.

I have my laundry rhythm. I have my household rhythms that I told you guys about and they work really, really well. Those are the kinds of things that have helped me find balance and simplify the chaos for me and my busy family. We have baseball a couple of days a week.  The league practices on Saturdays and that will soon get swapped out for games. Then Monday night we have practice and we always do a crockpot meal that night.

I think the key and maybe an action step for you would be to look at your normal routine. What do you have going on? What are the things that you go to, have on your calendar, or have to get done in your house? All of that. Everything that is “you” driven during your normal week.

Circle the things that you do on a regular, rhythmic basis without fail – laundry, dishes, business calls, answering emails – how can you automate that? How can you make that a rhythm? Look for ways to simplify your life so you can enjoy your family, even if you are busy family.

I don’t think that needs to be a badge of honor that you wave around and everyone sees  how busy you are. I don’t think that it needs to be this negative thing, “Oh, you are always so busy! You’re always running around and going somewhere!”

Yeah, I have kids and a business and I homeschool. It’s crazy and it’s awesome. You can enjoy it. I think the goal should be making sure you are pursuing purpose and that you are living in God’s will for your life.

That you are mindfully focused on your family. That you are not having to clean up all of the time. That all of your time is not going to the stuff in your house and the things in your schedule. Even though you are busy and you are running around with your family, that you are calm, at peace, content, and rhythmic. You can enjoy the people in your home and run your life well so that it’s not running you!

_______________________________________________________________

Hey friends!  I have developed a workbook called the Developing Rhythms Workbook.  It’s just for you and it goes great with this episode. If you are loving the idea of systemizing the things that you do on a regular basis, falling into some simple household lifestyle rhythms that will help you clear your headspace and get things that you do all of the time into a normal rhythm so you are less stressed and more productive, then this is going to help you so much.

Head to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/20 to download it for free.  It is awesome. It is one of my fans favorite downloads.  I think you will love it!

Go get it for free!

_______________________________________________________________

This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!