My Best Tips to Keep Calm in the Chaos {Including Mama}

 

We all have those times. We are groping for something to hold on to while life whips us around. I can actually feel myself grab for the seat belt. It’s too tight. It’s not pulling. C’mon… LOOSEN! I let back in and it loosens too much. Back and forth. All the while, life is accelerating and hitting the brakes. Veering to the right and back to left. I grab for the door handles, girlfriend. I put my hands out to keep from bashing my head on the dash. Life can be a wild ride.

 

What are some ways that we can keep calm in the chaos?

 

  1. Be prepared. If you are alive, chaotic times happen in life. That’s just the way it is. Any thing, even small thing, you can do to makes those chaotic times a little more easier to navigate. I find that having a menu plan and freezer meals available helps calm my nerves. I don’t have have to worry about what I can throw together when I get a chance to breathe and I don’t have to worry if I am not at home. Something can be pulled out of the freezer to thaw and then just thrown in the oven.
  2. Be organized. Do you know where things are in your home? Being able to grab something quickly or being able to call and tell someone directly where something can be found is essential to helping calm a mama’s nerves. Ever get a phone call and need to make a mad dash but you are searching for a paper that you need to take with you? Or maybe have a sick baby and you call and the nurse says “get here!” and you go to run out the door but WAIT! Where are the insurance cards? Not being organized and knowing where things are can make an already stressful situation more stressful.
  3. The 2/15 Rule. At our home, we have two days, Monday and Friday, that we dedicate to cleaning our house. Monday because the house is a disaster after a weekend of fun and relaxation and we need it fresh for a new week. Friday because I want us to be able to have fun and relax without worrying about it starting off as a mess. The 2/ 15 Rule is for all the other days. The 2 stands for two loads of laundry. If you come to my house, there will be laundry going. With a large family, there is a ton of dirty clothes. One way to keep calm in the chaos is to have the majority of the laundry caught up. This is not only because laundry piles up and that gets overwhelming but because times can come up where you need to pack quickly or grab clothes for the kids. Having laundry caught up takes the stress away. The 15 stands for 15 minutes. I try to keep every room in our house fifteen minutes away from being in tip top shape. Friends stop by for a quick chat. There may be a death and someone needs a place to stay. Having each room fifteen minutes away from clean makes it possible to get the house together quickly with the help of many hands. A recent example of this was when our youngest was born five months ago. We knew he would be coming soon but there was no indication that it would be as soon as I’d like. Andy and I went into the doctor and within an hour or two had to run home, get the kids ready, the house picked up (WHO wants to come home with a new baby to a dirty house?!) and back at the hospital to have the baby. That was a stressful situation. With being caught up with laundry and the fifteen minutes away from clean rule, the situation was a lot less stressful.
  4. Fast Flight Bin: We are extremely blessed to have a lot of our grandparents still living. With that blessing comes a lot of needs to quickly get in the car and head off. The Fast Flight Bin is a box which has activity books and such to preoccupy little minds and hands. Having that together and just being able to grab it or have a kid grab it quickly is a blessing and helps calm the chaos in a stressful situation.
  5. Do Something Normal: When it seems like our world is in complete chaos, one of the simplest yet hardest steps to take is to do something normal. Something grounding. One week recently was particularly hard. When I finally returned home I just wanted to escape. I hadn’t seen the kids all day and I knew I should be so excited to see them but I was just exhausted. I dug deep and decided to just grab a book and blanket and began to read to a them. Suddenly I felt a complete release of stress and began to enjoy the time I had with them. It’s not always easy to do something normal when you really just want to crash but it is so worth it!mamareading
  6. Hydrate:When mamas are in stressful, busy times taking the time to hydrate does not seem at all important. Water helps! When we become dehydrated, our bodies have to work harder and in turn we become more edgy and grumpy. Smaller situations begin to feel like bigger ones. Mountains out of mole hills. When the world is feeling crazy, stop and take a drink of water!
  7. Rest: I find myself lying awake at night trying to order my days or worrying about what is going to happen in life next. I find myself downstairs folding laundry. If I can’t sleep I might as well be productive! Wrong. My body needs rest. Even if I can’t quiet my mind, I need to allow my body to rest. In a perfect world, we would be able to forget our worries and fall fast asleep. This side of heaven, my friends, is not a perfect world. So if you can’t let go of those worries, at least just take a rest.
  8. Prayer/Meditation: Lastly but most importantly, prayer … Give it to Jesus. As I said above, it isn’t always easy to let go of your worries. Try. Try to hand over your cares and worries to Jesus. Let Him take control. Let Him carry your heavy burdens.

 

Chaotic and stressful times are inevitable. It’s all part of our journey. I often tell my kids, it’s not about what happens to you and the emotions and feelings you have about the situation, the trouble often comes when you react in a wrong manner.  A little preparation and planning ahead can go a long way as a mama. All these tips are wonderful to have in place all the time, but they are an amazing tool in your mama arsenal for those hard times. I find myself a lot less snappy and last out a lot less when these are in place. 

 

What are some ways you handle chaotic and stressful seasons?

A Day That Began With Big Aspirations

This is a raw real look into our crazy Monday. I woke with big dreams and aspirations for the day. As per normal it took a crazy turn and it’s finally, almost … Almost… Thank you, Jesus … it’s almost bedtime.

It was a joyous morning. We all woke up. I cut up cheese and strawberries. We ate yogurt, fruits and cheese for breakfast. The kids were ecstatic. Me? Not so much. I despise fruit. Yeah. I’m weird but the texture of fruit makes me want to just… I don’t even know. Blech!

Then on to the ONLY thing which went as planned today.

The kids put on work clothes and we weeded and mulched our front gardens.

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As we were mulching, we saw our neighbor’s trash. It was super exciting stuff so I embarrassed my oldest son and made him go dig and pick out what I wanted. It was so exciting to get a new hose house! (Dylan says I shouldn’t call it that. It makes the hose sound bad. !! Haha !!)

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I was trying to be on the ball and made my carry in item for my MOPs meeting tomorrow. It of course went askew. I eventually made it work!

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We had a friend, who is in construction, over to do some projects. Today’s project was to excavate the sides of the driveway. I cannot seem to pull a mini bus our of our driveway without taking out half the yard.

Our youngest daughter was a handful. Apparently she set her eyes on our friend. It was a trial trying to keep her in the house and backyard. Exhausted and tired of being the horrible mother who continued to keep her away from her one true love “cute boy”, I told everyone to load into the van. We were going to McDonalds for lunch.

I stopped to talk to Ellie’s heart throb about the work. After talking for a bit, I told him we would help put the dirt on the trailer when we got done with lunch.

Off we go to McDonald’s. We have been on a “gazelle intense” debt pay off plan and I was working through my mind on how to save some $$ on lunch. Since today was not working out at home, today was the day to try the McD’s app and purchase the food outside. Sounded right on target. (We often get offended “friends” behind out when we order. Krish calls them the impatient friends.)

Now I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not … After about 25 minutes of sitting in order spot, the manager comes out and asks if she can help me. (I’m just a tad embarrassed. Haha.) Ten minutes later, she was frazzled and entered the wrong payment method. Exasperated she writes down the order and goes inside. Another 25 minutes passed and she comes out, hands me the food and tells me no charge. Um… What?! My herd is not a group that gets free food often. Woot! However, we were at McD’s for over an hour! Eek.

After lunch we excitedly march outside eager to help clean up the dirt. Let me tell you … that dirt was sooooo heavy! But we conquered and persevered. We put that dirt in it’s place. We that dirt who was boss and then came in a showered.monday3

Sitting in the front room, we saw our friend pull up and look dumbfounded, staring at the dirt trailer. It hits me. We conquered the big, bad dirt into the wrong trailer. I am not even playing with you. We put all the dirt into the wrong trailer. All that dirt. Wowza. Then I did what any mature woman would do. I called and told my husband and made him take care of it. Here are some photos of Andy’s face as I told him. Enjoy.

 

Dylan and I went out to help him. (Dylan more than me.) We then came in and showered again. I was TOAST. So tired. I asked the kids to have some quiet time. Dylan occasionally came in and asked some random questions, “Mom, what’s PMS?”. I just thought he’d been reading his puberty book again and didn’t think much of it.

Prepping dinner, Andy comes in. Do you know about the book Dylan’s been reading? Have you read it? Um. Nope. I sure hadn’t.

He then proceeds to tell me about the heroin addict that is exploring his sexuality in the book. Um… What?! Who gave him that book?

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We then have a discussion on what a lot of words and situations mean. (They talked about him going to a party and doing heroin. We had to explain to Dylan that they weren’t talking about heroes at the tea party. Hello…. Homeschooled child!)

What makes a day turn out a little better? After dinner, we had a family “rap off”. Lincoln won!

 

Now, thank you, Sweet Jesus, it’s almost bed time!

I hope you enjoyed a look into a crazy Davis day! ❤

The Table

*This was originally published in September 2014. The three boys – Dylan, Lincoln and Kristian – were the only children. Meaning, meaning things have changed. However, this post still speaks to my heart. It is still the thoughts I possess about our old table. I hope you enjoy this post.*

I miss writing more than I ever thought I would. It’s amazing. I have so many thoughts. So many good ideas. Every now and again, I even find I have wisdom and thoughts that bring forth sage advice. How strange. Me? A simple woman who the Lord redeemed and washed new? I crazy woman rockin’ yoga pants and a mom pony tail… I – me, Jodi- might have some things to say that will shape the world for the better? That might meet someone right where they are? Might help reach my future daughters and wives of my sons? I just cannot believe that to be true.

But then… A small voice stirs and hear the Lord say, “I have a plan for you. You are still here for a reason. You will be used.”

So here,again, I began writing. Praying that I will be used in any way the the Lord sees fit. Any way that I can bring him glory.

These musings all started this morning at my favorite place in our home. The table. It seems like such a simple thing but it’s not. Our worn and dirty table is so much more.table

As I sit here and write this post, these ramblings, here is my exact view. At first it looks like just a mere table. There are some crumbs, a toy and a lonely drink. Evidence of a little use and even less attention to cleaning but if you close your eyes and search beyond that you can see so much more.
As I close my eyes, I see and even hear God’s blessings. Here are a few…
I see myself dragging down the stairs and wishing it wasn’t so early but hear the laughter of three little men, that I have been entrusted with, sharing breakfast together and ready to tackle the day. My heart smiles.
I see myself pouring a cup of tea and sitting with my Bible open. Praying for my children and begging for God to intercede where my babies need Him to throughout the day.  My heart leans on Him for our protection.
I see my head down on the table crying as I pray for those who are hurting. Myself included. I see my head lift to the ceiling as I feel His gentle touch and I know if I trust, it will all turn out. My heart clings to His promises.
I see games spilling over, off the table, on to the floor. My little man is loving every ounce of attention he is getting from me. His smile is vivid and full of joy. My heart sings.
I see a friend come over and we share in His word and laugh and hold on another accountable. Oh the smiles and reassurance that we are not alone. My heart sings praises of gratitude for bringing someone along who I can call and trust as a friend.
I see dinner being served. Smiles over conversations. Talking. Noisy talking. Love as we partake in a meal together. My heart is nourished.
I see my husband and I sit down with a snack and a cup of coffee. A small little time for us. A snuck in date. My heart feels such love.
A table is so much more than a piece of furniture. It hold so much more than folded laundry and papers. It is the center piece of my family. It brings us together. A table. A simple table.
Thank you Jesus for our table.

Saturday Stirrings

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How do you feed them all?

That is the question I hear most often.

Now it’s funny to me because I don’t know how NOT to feed them all. I’ve done it so long that it has become almost automatic.

So how do you NOT cook for a whole herd of people? 🙂

Beginning next week, on Saturdays, I will be sharing all things dealing with large family food. There will be recipes, freezer cooking ideas and plans, recaps of what has been on our dinner plates the past week and more. You’ll never know what’s going to show up but you can be sure it has to do with food.

Eventually, I would love to begin a link-up so that if you blog and love food, you can share as well!

I hold food in a very high regard. One of the things I see as I read through the Bible is, a majority of the time, Jesus ate and nourished the stomach before He began to nourish the soul. It is my prayer that as I feed my family or have friends over for brunch I can nourish their bodies and then their spirit is nourished as well.

Does food hold a special place in your heart?

RadicFull?

Why RadicFull and why another blog?

Way back in time there was a little girl. Visions of walking down the isle in a beautiful, white flowing gown staring longingly into her prince’s eyes and dreaming of their bright future together was not what floated around her mind. She didn’t think of the vast amount of little blonde and blue eyed babes that called her mama. This young girl yearned to be a writer.

Years later, life happens and often as happens, that young girl’s dreams got placed on the back burner and she finds herself in the throes of the mama life. She makes a few slight attempts at blogging and getting her thoughts and encouragement out there. She tries to find her voice in this bustling world but again life happens. Back on the burner they go. This continues for a while and then one day she realizes those little eyes that watch her every day could be the eyes of a young mother who is struggling to figure it all out. Those little eyes could stumble upon the musings of their mama years ago. And maybe, just maybe that, now young, toddler can see the intense love and desire to raise little amazing people her mama possessed. That young babe could watch her mother as she finds her voice and niche in this world even in piles of dirty laundry, diapers, dishes and mountains of laughs. Her mama embraced life and decided to jump when she wanted to run.

I pray that my voice can be one of encouragement and empathy for all the other mamas reading this out there. And, my now heart’s desire, my sons’ wives and my daughters can look back and see that their mama didn’t always do it right but she did it with the love of Christ and the love of her family in the forefront of every choice. One day maybe they can read my blog and gleam wisdom and encouragement from the time where the mundane days seem to never cease.

Now why RadicFull? My husband, Andy, and I decided a long time ago we wanted to live radically. We wanted to live life to the fullest. We want our family to live a radical life and with that have a life that is full to overflowing. We want them to have a RadicFull life.

Please friend. Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. Let’s begin this journey together. Let’s build a bridge between all mamas. Let’s navigate these waters together. Hand and hand.