Put Your Big Girl Panties On!

At last! I can say that Put Your Big Girl Panties On is published! Hooray!

What’s it all about?

PUT YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES ON IS A SELF-DO BOOK FOR WOMEN WHO ARE READY TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES BUT HAVEN’T QUITE FIGURED OUT HOW YET. Does it seem like adulting as a woman should’ve come with a training manual? Well, now you’ve got one. In this down-to-earth and funny how-to guide, coach Shana will let you know you’re not alone, help you feel understood and give you some practical tips on how to move forward in the areas of life that are holding you back like:

  • Anxiety
  • Negative self-talk
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Time management
  • Home organization
  • Personal finance
  • Motherhood
  • Marriage
  • and much more!

Put Your Big Girl Panties on will give you applicable questions, exercises, and advice from someone just like you. It will feel like a conversation at a coffee shop, filled with knowing glances and giggles. It will give you a safe space to feel the things you’re feeling while also coaching you ever closer to a better version of you. You see, one thing is absolutely 100% true. No one else is going to come along and magically save you. You are the hero of your own story. You are the one that is going to make your best life possible. You are going to show up for yourself, you are going to solve your own problems. And you’re going to feel really confident and satisfied when you do. You’re going to save yourself. Let’s go.

Put your big girl panties on

Fierce Faith Friday: One simple prayer for the kiddos

My kids have really been shocking me lately with their awesomeness.

I guess that sounds kind of bad. I’m their mom, I shouldn’t be shocked by how awesome they are right?

Right.

But I am. Their level of awesome has risen so much in the two weeks they’ve been out of school. Those two weeks, by the way, have been quite the tumultuous time for their father and I. Examples:

  • Melanie playing with her sister all day, no electronics. Playing. With minimal fights!
  • Zach doing the dishes and trash without being asked.
  • Both offering to help when they see it’s needed.
  • Melanie reading to her sister, without being asked, so she can pick a prize out at the library.
  • They brought in and put all the groceries away yesterday.
  • They’ve been working out with me without complaining.
  • Zach worked out with his CrossFit instructor uncle who said he “was very easy to coach” and a “really good runner.”
  • Melanie picked and ate raw green beans at the farm this week.
  • Ayla helping more with chores and not whining as much.
  • Zach opening doors. And reading the bible when he could’ve been on his iPad.

I mean, the list goes on and on. Consider me shocked. It’s like they’ve grown so much overnight. I know I’ve tried to be more intentional about my momming lately. So, that helps.

Earlier this year, I wrote about choosing bible verses for my kiddos.  I chose a scripture for each of them. I also mentioned in that post that I wanted to pray the verses over them.

The way that looks each day is I pray two lines for each kid each day. And I’ve just realized that that is the reason I’ve been shocked at how awesome they’re being.

I have that weird only child over achiever complex. I’m always trying to achieve, I rarely stop long enough to note when I have. And honestly, my faith is another manifestation of this. I do many things I know I should, and I honestly believe in them, I believe in God, I see him show up daily in my life. I am Jesus-powered.

And yet.

I am still shocked when my prayers are answered gradually. Right? Like most of the time it seems like prayers are answered obviously or when we’re looking back with hindsight. It’s like when you lose weight slowly. You might not see it daily, but if you look at a photo from six months ago it’s obvious!

And that’s how it has been with my kiddos. I woke up and realized these prayers are working! WAY more than I would’ve expected! (Gosh! What could God do in my life if I DID expect more?)

Without further ado, here is the simple prayer I say for each kiddo:

  • Common sense and success belong to Zach. Insight and strength are his. Father, help me to be the mom he needs today.
  • Help Melanie to guard her heart above all else and know it determines the course of her life. Help me to be the mom she needs today.
  • Jesus you are with Ayla, she will not fall. You will help her at the break of day. Help me the mom she needs today.
  • Show me the little moments I can be the mom they need today.

That’s it! My prayer time does take a few minutes, but a bit of that is me getting distracted and refocussing. These simple prayers have been a huge gamer changer! You can see why, right?

Because they’re focussed on what I can control: Asking God to intervene on their behalf and asking Him to help ME see and BE the mom they uniquely need.

By focussing on what I can control and allowing God to lead the way, I have a recipe for success. Apparently. I’m still reeling from Zach doing the dishes without being told.

Happy Fierce Faith Friday! Comment below, how do you pray for your kids? Do you think you could start with one simple line today?

  • “Help me be the mom/dad my child needs today.”

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5 Elements of Harmony (for women married w/ kids)

My girls are watching Saturday morning cartoons, My Little Pony to be exact. I heard something about “Elements if Harmony,” and being the nerd I am, it piqued my curiosity.

Or maybe it’s just that I am not feeling harmonious at the moment. I worked too many hours, my husband’s been gone and off the grid all week, the kids finished school this week and I did not eat well last night so my gut is wrenched in pain this morning.

Yeah, not harmonious.

So, I of course Googled the ponies and what their elements of harmony are.

  • Magic.
  • Honesty.
  • Kindness.
  • Laughter.
  • Generosity.
  • Loyalty.

It made me think about what my elements of harmony are. Then I realized, I already knew, I’d come up with them years ago! They were just hiding as goal sets.

  • Faith.
  • Family.
  • Fitness.
  • Fun.
  • Finances.

Faith.

Faith is the first element of harmony for me. Have you ever heard of the Israelite cycle? I mean, that’s not the technical term, but I’m no theologian. The Israelite cycle refers to how we read the Old Testament and watch the Israelites come back to God, and everything’s so good and awesome. Then they go back to serving idols and sin. Things get worse and worse until they finally turn back to God. And then poof! Things are good again. We see it from a distance and think, they’re kind of dense. How can they not see this cycle?

We have the same cycles in our lives though, I know I certainly do. Every once in a while I’ll wonder why things seem so hard lately. Not just regular hard, but swimming-upstream-holding-a-baby-hard. Where it seems like it’s coming from every angle and it just doesn’t make sense (it’s almost laughable) how hard things are.

That’s usually about the time I realize I’ve stopped leaning on God like I need to. When I realize I’ve been trying to do it alone. I realize my faith is out of harmony. When I hook back up to my power source, things don’t necessarily get instantly better, but my ability to handles them certainly does. In fact, it’s like poof! My entire perspective and attitude are different. And it’s like 🤦‍♀️. Shana, you’re just like the Israelites, minus golden calves.

Family.

Next up is family. I’ll tell you, even as a stay at home mom, this one being in second place is tough. It’s tough because sometimes I put it first and then I fall wearily flat on my face. It’s also tough because as an entrepreneur I can sometimes put other things before my family (mostly my marriage) but also enjoying my family. I’ve learned to keep them in this order, in priority, in order to keep harmony.

That’s not to say I’m a maid on call all the time. It just means I make sure I’m present with my family when we are together. It means I prioritize the when and the way I spend time with them. It means the home they live in and the food they eat are a priority too. Things that make my family feel out of harmony are:

  • Being in separate places in the world. This is inevitable as a military family. And I do enjoy affording my kids the opportunity to go elsewhere and learn and be with others. But I just don’t sleep as well as I do when they’re all in my house.
  • An unclean home. I’m NOT OCD trust me. But I realized I can’t truly relax and enjoy my family if the home isn’t in decent order. I don’t spend more than 30 minutes most days on upkeep, it it’s a definite priority. And my family helps. We have a work hard, play hard philosophy. And none of us are quite at the top of our games if the home isn’t cleanish.
  • Quality time ain’t happening. When we are rushed, when we are all in our own little worlds, that’s when I feel out of harmony. I’m an only child, so I relish my alone time. However, we are a family. And we do things together as a family. On purpose, not according to other people’s agendas. So, if we aren’t doing that, I feel off.

Fitness.

Fitness encompasses my mental health, my rest and, duh, my physical fitness. I’ve finally learned, after all these years, that this is such an important priority. I walk into the gym a lion, I come out like a lamb. It makes me a better mother, wife and overall human.

When I get enough rest, I literally feel like I can take on the whole world. I’m pretty stubborn about my ten minute cat naps in the afternoon. Not because I’m lazy but because it’s like a brain reset each day. I get up less stressed, more focused and rejuvenated.

Likewise, going to the mental gym is a big one for me. Putting good things in my brain, thinking about big ideas, how I can improve myself, self-correcting if I’m being mean to myself are all part of getting my mind right.

Fun.

Somewhere along the road, I apparently adopted the idea that being a married, adult woman with three kids meant I wasn’t allowed to do things I like to do. I know that sounds crazy and younger me needed therapy. But I bent my will so hard for everyone else, I rarely did just what I wanted to do in my late 20s and earlier 30s.

In my book I write about my nap time epiphany. I’ll tell you, once I took some time to just do me and what I wanted to do, I noticed immediately it was like a baptism of joy. Like, whoa! It completely changed the game and now I now if I don’t get time for fun (doing what I want to do) and friends (this is another f word, but I tuck it in fun) then things are definitely out of harmony. My husband knows this too, he’s seen the reward of a Shana who’s had some fun. So he is always gracious about letting this pony run. (Pam Tillis)

I definitely have to work hard for fun. In fact, of all of them, it’s probably the one I struggle with the most, even though I know the rewards. It’s another cycle, one best described by T-Boz.

Every now and then, I get a little easy,

I let a lot of people depend on me

When I force myself to have some fun, it all comes back into balance. I have standing dates with friends like weekly coffee. I have once a month friend dates prescheduled because if I don’t, I won’t. But I need to.

Finances.

For me, finances are all about work and money. I have an entrepreneurial heart. I love my work. So much that I would put it all the way at the top. I’ve never had a job I didn’t like. I’ve been working since I was 14. I’ve had like ten different careers. It’s fine. I’m working on it. I remember a few years into our marriage, my husband went off to training for a few months. I had just landed my dream job (at that time). I got to build our training program from scratch. And I got to pick my team. Y’all, I was in heaven. It was glorious. I was working 12-14 hour days. Because I wanted to. There was no requirement. There was no deadline. No one even knew I was working that much! Except my husband. He came home and was like…Shana, this is not normal. It was a first of many red flags. God certainly gave me Chris to help me figure out how to balance this fire I have inside. I have a really hard time just relaxing. Or just being. Or staying still in the home I pay a lot of money for. Slowly, he has helped me try to find some balance with my ambition and my priorities. On the contrary though, if I’m not working on something I feel passionate about I’ll also feel out of balance. I’ll look like Branch from Trolls.

Copyright Dreamworks.

That was another hard fought lesson for me. I’ve gone back and forth with work since becoming a mom. I think we all probably do. I’ve learned that I’m in harmony when my family comes first but I am also doing work that lights me up.

The other part of finances for me is security. Dave Ramsey says women like to feel secure when it comes to finances and he is right. It’s like the day when I go grocery shopping and my pantry is full and my fridge is full, I feel SO GOOD. How weird is that? Like, I can go to the grocery store any day. For some reason, having loads of food at home, ready to nourish my family makes me feel secure!

And so it is with my finances. When money is out of whack, I feel out of harmony. On the contrary, when we know where our money is going and those places are in alignment with our family goals, I feel good!

So those are my elements of harmony (we typically hear this as “balance” these days).

What are yours? Did any of that ring true for you too?

If you liked this post, please comment & share!


Attempting to achieve harmony without systems is futile. Listen to me as a recovering stubborn system refuser. I’ll be leading 10 women through a 90 day mastermind planning group where we will attempt I get all of that 👆🏻out of heart and into a plan. Join us, it will help you. It’s only for 90 days, what do you have to lose?
 

The Responsibility of Self-Care

If you haven’t heard about self-care lately, then you’ve been living under a rock. And unless that rock is a heated stone for your massage, you’re doing it wrong.

Self-care is a trendy term and concept these days but it’s a really simple concept: take care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself, especially for women, seems to be something we need reminding of. A lot. Taking care of ourselves is typically at the bottom of our to do list, which is a big no no.

Most of the words we see about self-care mirror the idea that you owe it to yourself. That’s true. You definitely do. Today, though, I want to implore you to take care of yourself from another point of you.

It’s your responsibility.

If you’re serving your family drained, empty, tired, anxious and stressed, you’re probably not serving them the way you want to. Sure, there’s a lot to do and a lot expected from us. That’s why we need a lot of good stuff going in (not talking wine here) so we can meet those expectations without feeling so drained. Because we’re so busy, as moms and as wives we often turn to our kids and spouses to be that good stuff. Unfortunately, that puts too much pressure on our families to fill holes they simply can’t fill. We lean on our children and our spouses for our own fulfillment and happiness. And while they can certainly provide some of that, it is simply not fair to depend on them for all of it. It’s not fair not only because they cannot meet that expectation but it’s also not fair because they deserve a mom and a wife that is fulfilled, charged and happy!

Are you living life that way? Do you feel energetic & strong? Do you feel full of power, love and self-discipline?

Do you feel that way? If you don’t, you need to put a serious priority on self-care. It is your responsibility ALONE to ensure you’re up for the tasks that lay before you. No one else can do that for you.

Funnily enough, getting to the point where you do feel up to the tasks set before you, where you do feel strong and energetic requires doing some stuff you might actually enjoy. 

You see, self-care is doing stuff you want to do. Many times we wind up doing what everyone else wants us to do. We convince ourselves that there isn’t time or space available for us to take time to do what we want.

But we’re wrong. Most of the time, we haven’t asked for it. Specifically. And then followed through by doing it. This is so tricky because many times we’ll be on the way out the door when calamity strikes!

Other times we simply haven’t made it a priority.

Other times we have convinced ourselves we’re too indispensable. Well, actually, the family really needs to learn to live without you a bit mom. Not too long because the house might burn down while you’re gone, but long enough that they learn to stand on their own feet, not mom’s shoulders. You are indispensable but your family will survive and everyone will be better for it.

Why? Because the family will have learned they can do some things even without mom. You’ll return from self-care recharged and ready to love on them some more. It’s a win-win. Your tank will be more full, you will be able to pour into others even more than before!

The takeaway: It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself (self-care). Stop putting yourself on the bottom of your to-do list.

That’s why I help women catch up so they can keep up and then level up. That’s what I do. All the way through to their best selves.

What do you need a jumpstart in?

Book your coaching session now.

What do you get?

  • A 30 minute call with me (this is all about you!)
  • A personalized action plan (this is all about YOUR life)

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What do you do?

 

10 ways to encourage your child

I’m so excited to be running my first group of ladies through my 4Es Journal for Moms. The 4Es are Embrace, Encourage, Empower and Enjoy. That’s the good stuff about motherhood!

Today in the group we’re talking about Encouraging our children. With that in mind I want to chat with you about 10 ways to encourage your child:

  1. Praise hard work. As in praise effort, not just success or natural ability.
    1. You’re working really hard on this project.
    2. Not everyone can run as fast, but not everyone is trying as hard as you either.
  2. Tell them something you’re grateful for about them.
    1. I’m so grateful that you are such a good hugger. It makes me feel all ooey gooey inside.
    2. I’m so grateful you are so funny. You always make me laugh.
  3. Express what you find unique about them.
    1. The fact that you love math is neat. Sometimes I wish I could love it like you.
    2. Your drawings are so creative and colorful, not everyone has an imagination like that.
  4. Positively reinforce good decisions.
    1. I am so proud that you did your chores without me asking!
    2. Thank you for coming right inside when I called you. I was so relieved I didn’t have to say it more than once.
  5. Get specific: tell them WHY & HOW what they did was good, smart or creative, not just that it was those things.
    1. Not everyone would have thought to write a letter to their friend to make them feel better. Your kind heart is somethign really special about you.
    2. The fact that you set up that tent shows you have a brain that can solve problems and figure out hard puzzles. Sometimes people give up when it gets hard, but you didn’t!
  6. Encourage the process, not just after it’s complete. Give praise that is not contingent on results or completion.
    1. I know it’s taking you weeks to learn how to do a cartwheel. I’m really proud of you for sticking with it.
    2. No matter what happens at the science fair, I think it’s really cool that you had this idea and wanted to share it with others.
  7. Set goals with them and encourage each milestone.
    1. If you save up $20 you can buy those cards. How long will that take you? Can you save $5 a month? Wow! You have earned $10 so far, you’re half way to your goals.
    2. You can learn that routine in one month if you practice for 10 minutes each day.
  8.  Remind them of how far they’ve come.
    1. Remember how you used to think running was so hard? Now you can run an entire mile without stopping!
    2. Remember when you could only sound out letters and now you can read this entire book!
  9. Imagine their future with them and relate it to why what they’re doing now is important.
    1. Won’t it be so cool when you can read your favorite books by yourself whenever you want? That’s why we are studying these words now!
    2. Won’t it be cool to be able to swim with the big kids this summer? That’s why working hard at these swim lessons really matters.
  10. Tell them how what they’ve done has impacted others.
    1. You being such a good girl at brushing your teeth has made your sister want to brush her teeth too. Now she’ll have good habits and probably not get cavities, all because of you!
    2. When you gave Daddy a hug before he left, it really made him feel loved before he goes for a hard day’s work.

 

What are some examples you can implement in your life right now?

31445095_861761277336983_3352419203721199616_oIf you’d like to order a copy of my journal, click here!

 

Fierce Faith Friday: P31 (again)

I know you might just be over hearing about the Proverbs 31 woman.

She is energetic & strong, a hard worker. (5)
My 2nd favorite verse.

Hear me out really quick though. Not just because my 2nd favorite verse in the entire bible is from this passage, but because it’s something that’s come up a lot this week so I need to share.

The Proverbs 31 woman had like 13 different side hustle businesses. Really. That lady is buying properties, opening a small business, at trade shows selling her goods, designing and creating fashions and bedding.

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I mean, no wonder we think she’s impossible to live up to.

Now, first of all, our wife of noble character did not have Netflix or Pinterest. So that helps. But I’d like to submit to you that she was able to be so awesome (precious) because she had creative outlets and work that made her feel fulfilled.

In fact, of the 21 lines in this passage only twice do we hear about her kiddos. Dear husband is mentioned four times. You see, she’s accomplishing so much, she’s doing so much, she is so capable and virtuous because she’s on fire.

She has a fire burning inside because she’s creating, she’s still identifying with the part of her that isn’t just mom, that isn’t just wife. Those things are great. But there’s more.

Many times moms feel trapped in this never ending cycle of just the roles they play. They stop doing things for them, things they love, things that make them feel alive and passionate.

What’s really crazy is these moms are the ones that have no energy. That barely make it through the day.

Then we have the moms that seem to have it all. Well, first of all they don’t (As Jon Acuff said, those highlight reel moms might just be drinking an entire bottle of wine at night). But if it seems like they’re living a more authentic, passionate life and getting more to-dos checked off their list each day there might be a reason.

Being fulfilled and taking care of yourself gives you more energy to do more for others.

It’s a weird phenomenon. You’d think that the more you do, the more exhausted you are. However, if you’re prioritizing self-care and you’ve got a creative outlet, work that fills you up, I bet you can do more than you ever imagined. You’ll feel more energy, more excitement, more okay with doing stuff like laundry. You’ll be riding the buzz of living a life by design.

I mean, our wife of noble character gets up early and prepares breakfast. That’s probably because she wanted some quiet time to herself before the hustle and bustle of the morning came.

That’s probably because she’s excited about all the fulfilling work she will do today. She doesn’t mind serving others because she’s serving from a cup that’s overflowing.

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Righteously angry for moms

Some things get me really worked up. Like the government still telling people dairy is a necessary component of their diet.

In this case, I’m worked up because I see confirmation of what I already know: moms are sad, lonely, stressed out and unhappy.

This is my why (2)
2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

I 100% feel it’s my duty to change that in whatever small ripple I can make. I want moms to feel in control, happy, present, joyful. Almost everything I create is with that intention. The book I’m writing and the course I’m developing are two examples. My book will focus on four ares to help Moms mom like a boss: Mind, Body, Home and Relationships. Mom Blocking will take the idea of calendar blocking and show mom how to make her schedule work for her. It will show her how to reduce the stress, anxiety and depression.

Shoot me your email below to find out more when both are released!

 

Teaching kids personal autonomy

Have you ever seen one of those Facebook posts where people brag about their childhood? You know, the ones that brag about how the streetlights were the curfew, garden hose the water fountain, how bikes were ridden without helmets and how dirty the childhoods of yore were?

When I see those posts I remember my childhood fondly. Then I get tad bit sad. And I wonder if all of these people who brag about their childhood are giving the same childhood to the next generation.

Childhood these days is so wrapped up in control, busyness and being germ free it seems all but impossible to give our children the same experience we had. In some ways, maybe we’ve improved. In other ways we’ve set them up for failure.

Personal autonomy is the capacity to decide for oneself and pursue a course of action in one’s life.

When we bubble our kids in so many rules, activities and safeguards, they aren’t able to exercise their own decision making skills. That’s a bummer because they’re going to need those skills a lot as adults. They need the space away from our grasp to make their own decisions and grow their own character.

When they don’t have those skills, they end up back home. When they don’t have those skills, they end up rethinking or overthinking every decision they do make as adults. They end up with low confidence. With anxiety.

A little independence goes a long way. A little room to grow into a confident adult will pay dividends.

I know you’re thinking about all the ways you try to reinforce personal autonomy in the lives of your kiddos. Or maybe you’re thinking about the ways your parents did the same for you. Put those in the comments below, let’s share ideas and help each other out!

I know my parents “let” me walk to school and the bus stop, even in elementary school. And they were blocks away. I am trying to balance the joy of going to the bus stop with my kids with this idea.

I know my parents had “fend for yourself” dinners. And weekend lunches. A lot. Sometimes I let my older kids make their own dinner. They also meal prep their lunches and get to pick whatever they want (to my nutrition shame) at school lunch on Fridays.

The other day I wanted to let my daughter buy the envelopes she needed to send a book she made for her grandmas. It was part of a whole lesson on entrepreneurship. The lady was so shocked a kid would do such a thing, I guess, and she wouldn’t even let her check out! It was interesting. She was my generation. At the post office we had a different experience. That lady was on it, totally played into the lesson. She was from my Nana’s generation.

Those are just a small few, but I think it’s great to be intentional about this. Tell me your ideas!

The Magical solution to laundry

WRITING 101

Laundry is the bane of every mother’s existence, isn’t it? It might be the bane of every adult’s existence.

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Perhaps the most infuriating thing about laundry is that it’s never done. Even as you fold and put away the last item from the dryer (because that happens so often), you still have dirty clothes–the ones you’re wearing!

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And yet, I am here to tell you, I have the magical secret to laundry. It’s pretty old school, are you ready?

Copy of Copy of jumpstartbyshana.com (2)

Mind blown, I know. Yes it’s simple. But most solutions in life kind of are. What makes them seem hard is the doing it part.

Here’s the thing, we never used to have so many clothes. In fact, stay at home moms of the past were able to hang their laundry to dry not just because they did not have dryers, but because they didn’t have so many clothes to dry! 

In those old days, folks “made do” with one outfit for work/school, one nice outfit or their “Sunday best” and one thing to sleep in. While we don’t need to go to that extreme (pause and say a little thank you because we don’t struggle like folks used to, #blessed is a real thing), we can use it as a guide, as inspiration.

Copy of Copy of jumpstartbyshana.com

Just maybe.

Another lesson, and this one is particularly important for the kiddos, is that we can wear them more than once. If your kids are anything like mine, they would change pajamas every night if left to their own devices. Now, we have a 3-night minimum.

I’ve gone from never ending laundry to laundry twice a week. I have a family of 5 and we workout, a lot! And it gets completed every time. When you have less clothes, you always get to wear stuff you love and that fits. You can easily put things away because there’s plenty of room. You don’t mind doing laundry because it’s temporary, not a life sentence.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to downsizing the amount of clothing. It can seem overwhelming or unappealing. There are a lot of questions that come up, a lot of mind games our stuff, our culture plays with us, and we might not even realize it!

If you had a coach to help you through it, I bet you would find it exciting, it would be freeing even.

As a coach, I help you catch up so you can keep up. #momcoach

Laundry. Can. Be. Conquered.

Comment below how you conquer laundry or tell us how it conquers you.