if you want to show the world you’re a #HopeWarrior

Last week we introduced you to this lovely necklace from Origami Owl, and challenged you to be a #HopeWarrior—fighting for hope with everything you have.

This idea of being a Hope Warrior has so pierced our hearts, that we decided to make it a kind of regular thing around here. Today, we’re excited to bring you this news:

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That’s right! Every single month one MOB Society newsletter subscriber will win a #HopeWarrior necklace from our friend, and Origami Owl consultant, Stephanie Mills!

Winners will be selected using random.org and notified by email!

Note: As a bonus for signing up for our newsletter, you’ll start receiving our amazing exclusive monthly BoyRaiser newsletter, our monthly #PrayingForBoys prayer calendar, and our weekly eblasts with great deals and steals for boymoms! Please be sure to follow the verification instructions that will come in an immediate email. If you don’t, you won’t be entered, and nobody wants that!






Sign up to access the monthly BoyRaiser!

Seek Her Heart: A Letter to My Son (on girls)

My Dear Son,

 Lately, you’ve been at the forefront of my mind. In fact, you and your future are pretty much all I can think about. With each passing day, month, and year, I’m infinitely aware of how fast time is flying by–how quickly you’re growing up.

 And it’s hard.

 You’re my boy–the one I’m raising, the one I cry over, laugh with, love, and yes, worry about…which is why I feel the need to share something with you (before I forget).  

-Don't let the world fool you into

 Now, I know at this stage of the game, you’re not all that interested in the opposite sex…but the time is coming. I see it already. Like when the young ladies from down the street show up at our front door, unannounced. Or the way your female classmates say “hi,” as they pass by you at school. And even though I can’t help but smile each time one of these precious creatures approaches you, there’s something I want you to keep in mind as those not-too-distant days of dating (and eventually marriage) hurriedly make their way onto the horizon:

 Set your sights on her heart.

 Pretty soon you’ll be spending a lot of time thinking about girls. Undeniably, there will be a number of them vying for your attention too. But the woman you fall in love with? The one you want to spend the rest of your life with? Son, her beauty doesn’t reside in her appearance. It’s not in the warm smile she boasts, or the made-up face she wears. Her beauty dwells within. It’s the way she loves the Lord—and the way in which she’ll love you. It’s in her faith. It’s found in her heart.

 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. –Luke 12:34 (NIV)

So, don’t allow our culture or this world we’re living in tell you otherwise. Don’t let it fool you into thinking that a woman’s worth is in the way she dresses, the way her hair is styled, or how her body looks…because it’s a lie. However, a woman whose heart resides in Christ? That’s the girl you want. A woman who loves and fears the Lord? Son, she’ll love you as the Bible instructs her to–when the money is tight and the bills are big, when hardship is found, and when illness is present. Indeed, that’s the union you’re looking for–one that’s centered in Him.

 This season that’s approaching? The road that’s just ahead? I pray you’ll seek the Lord’s counsel…that you’ll remain in His word. And I pray that the girl whose heart you seek to win, will have an everlasting love for our Heavenly Father.

 Because it’s everything.

 All My Love,

Mom

Taking Action:

1. Point the Way

Everyday our boys are subjected to images (via media) focused heavily on the outward appearances of women. But as their moms, we’re not powerless in what they’re exposed to. We can teach them to appreciate modesty, just as we can coach them on what’s most important in a world that chooses to do the opposite.

2. Pray

No matter their age, we can pray for the future of our boys and those of the women they‘ll marry. We can ask our Heavenly Father to provide them with wisdom and discernment in the days ahead. Because God should know the sound of our voice, the bending of our knees, and the cries of our heart.

Pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

 We come to you today seeking wisdom for our sons. We pray for the hearts of the girls they’ll date, along with the wives they will one day take. Lord, help these children cling to your truths, remain obedient to your will, and honor your commands. Provide them with the inner strength they’ll need to avoid the pitfalls the enemy places in their path. And we pray for their hearts. Lord, keep their intentions pure and their sights set on you.

 We ask this in your Son’s name,  

 Amen. 

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Fit + Fed: March Edition

Welcome to the March edition of Fit + Fed!

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The MOB Society exists to encourage moms in raising godly men, and we believe teaching them to take care of their bodies is an important part of honoring God. Each month, we will share a few short tips regarding nutrition and exercise for your boys, along with other relevant health-related topics!

FIT

Do you ever workout at home? While I usually try to get my workouts in before the kids wake up or during nap time, I’ve also discovered my older boys enjoy working out WITH me sometimes! No, we don’t run on the treadmill together, but when I’m doing a video or strength exercises, they have asked to join me and we have such fun!

Fit Fed March

A few tips for working out with your boys:

1. Be patient. You may want to just get your workout over without any interruptions, but consider this an opportunity to not only model an active lifestyle for your boys, but also involve them in it!

2. Be willing to help. Don’t just go about your normal routine when they want to join you – pause the video and help them if they’re not getting it. Gently correct their form so they don’t injure themselves. Show them modifications that might work better if they can’t do exactly what you are doing.

3. Be encouraging. Let them know they are doing a great job when they are working hard. When they are feeling discouraged, offer a few words to pick them up and keep them motivated. Think about what you would want to hear if you were trying a new workout program or struggling to keep up.

Think about doing even simple reps of pushups, crunches, and jumping jacks with them – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy! You just need to get moving and moving with them makes getting fit a family affair!

And if you’re all a little sore afterwards, we’ve found the essential oil blend Deep Blue to be an amazing way to relieve achy muscles! Just mix it with a carrier oil and rub on the trouble spots {usually my hamstrings!}. You can also use the Deep Blue rub for the same relief in a lotion form.

Brooke has many more great tips for natural ways to keep everyone healthy while being active this spring over on her blog. And if you’d like to ask questions about using essential oils with your boys, we’d love to have you join us in our Oily MOB Facebook group! {please read the description carefully before asking to join}

FED

Moms ask us all the time about how to keep their boys full! Protein can be an important tool in growing healthy bodies for your boys AND helping them feel full longer! Meat is an obvious source of protein, but here are few other favorite protein sources at our house:

Nuts and nut butter – There are SO many nuts and nut butters out there beyond peanuts! While they must be avoided for those with allergies, a wide variety of nuts and nut butters can be a great substitute for the less-filling, processed snacks our boys are used to. When looking at nut butters, go as natural as possible, without added sugar or other ingredients. Or make your own!

Yogurt – Greek yogurt packs a large protein punch, and when mixed with fruit, it makes a great breakfast option! If your kids are crazy about the texture, try freezing it to make it more like ice cream.

Eggs – My younger boys will gobble up eggs and I notice they are less hungry throughout the morning when eggs are on the breakfast menu. There are SO many ways to fix eggs – find out what your boys like best and fill them up in the morning! Breakfast tacos are even a hit with my boy who doesn’t like plain scrambled eggs.

We would love to hear your favorite protein sources for your boys – please share in the comments!

strength to keep fighting (i will be a hope warrior)

Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing about my personal struggle to keep fighting in this motherhood marathon. Fighting for my children isn’t always easy, but I’ve learned a few things along the way:

Hope is what gives us the strength to keep fighting…

Hope that God sees…

Hope that God cares…

Hope that God has a plan, and that it’s good…

Hope that God is mighty to save…

Hope that God redeems even our worst mistakes…

Hope Warriors

Over the weekend, I attended the Raising Generations Today conference as a speaker with my Hope for the Weary Mom co-author, Stacey Thacker. We spent some time browsing the vendor tables before dinner Friday night, and as it always does, the jewelry table caught my eye.

Lately, I’ve been drawn to jewelry that has the word “hope” written on it, as if I somehow need a powerful, visible reminder that hope is available to me any time I need it.

This is what I bought:

Be a #HopeWarrior

From Origami Owl, this necklace fits me for several reasons:

  1. It reminds me of my mission in life—to be a Hope Warrior—fighting to hold on to hope in my own life, and bringing hope to weary moms.
  2. They look like dog tags, right? Appropriate for a boymom, but with a sweet little pop of pretty in the middle. My boys love it!
  3. My Praying for Boys book was originally titled Warrior Prayers. I’ve always felt the call to fight for my boys, and it’s always been my heart to cheer you on as you fight for yours.
  4. I know there are mamas reading this who need hope right now. I want you to know that I’m standing in the gap for you, praying for you, fighting for you through my prayers. You’re not in this alone.

Today, I’d like to inspire us all to be Hope Warriors. I want to see a generation of moms stand up and say, “I will be a Hope Warrior, choosing hope even when I can’t feel it, fighting for it with everything I have.”

To encourage us, my new friend Stephanie Mills, an Origami Owl consultant (and the one who sold me this beautiful necklace) has offered to bless one MOB Society reader with one just like it.

To Enter:

We don’t like to make you jump through hoops to enter a giveaway. So all you need to do is enter your email address below to enter! As a bonus, you’ll start receiving our amazing exclusive BoyRaiser newsletter, and our weekly eblasts with great deals and steals for boymoms! Please be sure to follow the verification instructions that will come in an immediate email. If you don’t, you won’t be entered. 






Sign up to access the monthly BoyRaiser!

* Already a subscriber? Share the following statement via social media and leave us a comment here letting us know you did:

On Twitter: I will be a #HopeWarrior, choosing hope even when I can’t feel it, fighting for it with everything I have. http://bit.ly/1iFLfeR

On Facebook: I will be a Hope Warrior, choosing hope even when I can’t feel it, fighting for it with everything I have. http://bit.ly/1iFLfeR

This giveaway will close one week from today, and the winner will be contacted by email. If you don’t win, or if you (like me) just need a physical reminder that hope is yours for the asking…the choosing…go ahead and purchase a necklace like mine today, and tell the world that you refuse to quit fighting for hope.

Be a #HopeWarrior.

In the Face of Fear: 3 Ways to Cultivate Valor (without invalidating their fears)

In my last post I wrote about chivalry and I so enjoyed the discussions that blossomed out of that post.  If you’d like to join in, you can find them here.  While most of us find it easier to teach our sons courtesy and generosity, the common thread was that we were somewhat stumped when it came to cultivating valor.  How do we acknowledge and validate our sons’ fears and apprehensions, yet still encourage them to be brave and courageous?

In The Face

 

Plausible Fears vs. Implausible Fears

First of all, I think it’s important to teach our sons the difference between plausible and implausible fears.  I almost named this section legitimate and illegitimate fears, but I think those terms invalidate our sons’ fears.  By labeling them plausible and implausible, we are teaching our sons to discern what is and is not worth their time.  For example, a plausible fear is that their teeth might hurt while the dentist is examining them.  This fear is absolutely within the realm of possibility.  An implausible fear would be that the dentist will turn into and evil green alien and jackhammer their teeth out of their mouth.  It just won’t happen.

Talk About It

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” – Albus Dumbledore.

It’s true.  The more we stuff the nagging fear down, pushing it beyond our realm of consciousness and refusing to even utter the presence of a fear, the larger the fear grows and the harder it is to overcome.  I want my son to be comfortable with the words, “I’m afraid” and “I’m scared.”  We were hard-wired with a fear system to help keep us safe and quite honestly, I think my son needs to listen to his fears a little more often, especially when considering jumping from high perches or speeding on a bicycle.  It is okay to be scared, but sometimes we must be scared and do it anyways.  A few pointers are as follows:

  • Don’t label fears as “silly” or your son as a “baby” for being afraid of certain things.  Even as an adult, I don’t like dark basements and spiders will make me squirm from across the room.  Yes, I know that I can just squish them, but still, one too many times watching Arachnophobia with my brother as a child.
  • Don’t say you’re too old to be afraid of that or become exasperated when they are fearful.
  • Do encourage them to pray.  It can be as simply as “Dear Jesus, help me not to be afraid,” or as elaborate as they need.

Facing the Fear

Then there are those fears that must be faced down and trampled, but not always in one stampede.  Many wars with fear can be won by triumphantly being victorious over tinier battles.  Break down the fear into bite-size chunks and then praise him above and beyond what you would feel as normal when he displays courage.  My son was afraid of the dentist.  Our first visit a year and a half ago was fraught with tears and terror.  The hygienist took one look at my son and knew there was no way we were going to get a cleaning done that day, but she was politely insistent that he at least sit in the chair and let her look in his mouth.  I encouraged him that it was indeed safe and that they would not do anything other than look in his mouth (FYI, don’t promise this and then surprise your son with a “sneak attack.”  That kind of action will only cause a lack of trust between you.)  and see what was up.  The whole time he was in the chair both the hygienist and I were applauding his bravery.  He was still scared, but he held still and did what he had to do and that, my friend, is courage.  Now, a year and a half later we have fabulous dental appointments at which he isn’t scared or apprehensive.

Many times your son needs to hear you, his mom, supporting him.  Sometimes all your son needs is to know that you are in his corner rooting for him and that he will come out on top.  What a privilege and an honor to be cheering him on…

What are some ways you have been able to encourage bravery?  What strategies can you share about facing fears (either your own or that of your sons’?)