Mama, Are You Dreaming Big Enough? | Ashley Varner
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Mama, Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

I want to ask you a question that may change your perspective of motherhood…

Are you dreaming big enough in your motherhood and for your home?

Why do I ask this?

Well, because as moms, it’s easy to lose purpose in our day to day calling.

There’s a book written by Erin Davis called Beyond Bath Time. I read it when my boys were small and it really impacted the way that I viewed motherhood.

In this book, the author states that motherhood is a calling and it can feel fulfilling, it can feel exciting and fun.

But it doesn’t always feel that way.

We can also lose some of that purpose in the day to day, diaper to diaper, laundry baskets to laundry baskets, dirty dish to dirty dish days.

Don’t have time to read this entire post? No worries! Listen to it on the run!

Big Dreams For Motherhood

I want you to begin to have bigger dreams for your motherhood and your homemaking. I want you to take your purpose as a mother seriously, so it’s time for a gut check.

Taking Motherhood Seriously

Are you putting in the same effort in being a mom as you would if you were making a paycheck? This is something that I struggled with for a long time when I was staying at home with two young boys.

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom  |  AshleyVarner.com  #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

There was nobody behind me saying, “What are you doing?” There wasn’t a schedule telling me when I started and quit work.

I found myself falling into a rut of not putting on my clothes in the morning and staying in my pajamas all day because I didn’t have a plan.

After reading Beyond Bath Time, I started to schedule things like play dates or working out at the gym versus staying at home to work out. That really helped me to get focused and start taking my motherhood seriously.

Part of taking motherhood seriously and using the skills and talents that you’ve been given is realizing that there is a purpose.

You can view motherhood as a profession, so you want to do your best. You want to be the most efficient that you can be.

Viewing Motherhood As A Purpose

Wake Up Before Your Kids

First, get up before the kids get up. I discussed the importance of this in my post on Morning Routines For Christian Moms.

Getting a handle on your mornings is something that will transform your life if you let it.

It allows you time to look at your schedules and see, “Oh, this kid has to take this library book back to school today. I need to get some milk from the store,” or whatever the errands may be.

If your kids wake up before they’re supposed to, have something ready for them to do or you can start to train them to stay in bed until a specific time.

My boys are completely opposite on the spectrum. I have one that loves sleeping in and one that loves waking up early. If my younger son hears me getting up early he wants to get up, too.

I usually give him two options: he can stay in his room playing quietly, even if he’s not sleeping, until a specific time. Or he can come in and quietly read his Bible while I’m reading mine or while I’m getting ready.

He can sit down and read until 6:45am when it’s time for him to actually get up and get ready for the day. That gives me time to get myself together and it changes my attitude.

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

We’ve all been in that place where we get up late and we’re rushing. That leads to snapping at everyone, the kids are late for school, and you have all these things that are going on.

If you wake up early and you get yourself together, it changes your attitude so that you’re not rushing around. You’re able to help your kids tie their shoes or help them with their breakfast.

When you’ve already started your day and you’ve gotten those things done that you want to get done for yourself, then you have time specifically set aside to help your family get ready for the day.

That is what I mean by taking steps to view your motherhood differently and being more intentional with your time.

Proactive Discipline vs. Reactive Discipline

Be proactive rather than reactive in your discipline.

When you are proactive you’re using teachable moments. When someone else gets in trouble at school and your kids come home and tell you what’s going on, you can use that to teach them how they should have reacted.

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

Sometimes, my boys tell me about kids at their school who got in trouble and I’ll use that to start a conversation. Ask your child, “How would you react if that happened to you?”  

That starts to help them prepare actions and reactions so that whenever they are in that same situation (because they will be at some point), they already have a plan for how they’re going to react.

I’ve talked to my kids about what happens if another kid is doing something wrong. “Do you move away from them? Do you ask them to stop? Do you go to the teacher?”

They have a plan because we’ve been proactive in teaching them.

Try to use these conversations as teachable moments. Work to be proactive rather than reactive in your discipline.

Strive For Heart Reconciliation

Dreaming bigger for your family means you have a heart of reconciliation. When you’re disciplining, you don’t want your children to not do something just because they’re trying to avoid the consequences.

If the only thing that you’re focusing on is the consequences, you might change their behavior, but you’re not going to change their heart.

I always tell my boys after they get disciplined that I don’t want to do discipline them, but I am called by God to train them up in the way that they should go.

There will be times your child will struggle with disobedience. If my boys are not obeying quickly enough, I tell them the reason obedience is so important.

It’s our job to teach our children how to obey now so that whenever God tells them to do something, they’re ready to obey.

That’s truly the heart of discipline.

The way your children view you as an authority is the way that they’re going to view the Lord as an authority later on in life.

That is why we discipline.  

We want to change their heart and not just their behavior because if you work to change their heart first, you’re going to have fewer and fewer behaviors to deal with.

Choose Joy

The next way that you can have bigger dreams for your motherhood is to choose joy.

Smile and say yes when your children ask to play!

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

There are so many times when I’ve been guilty of being too busy.  As a family, we have a lot going on, but when my boys come to me and ask me to play with them I try to say yes as much as possible.

There have been many times when I’ve said, “I’m sorry, I’m busy.”

Those times are unavoidable, but I’ve been intentional in saying yes to my children. Even if it’s two minutes, even if it’s five minutes, we’ll set a timer. I’ll say, “Let’s play one game of chess.”

When they ask to play, just create that joy in your home and say, “yes.”

One of the things that I’ve noticed with our boys, whenever we say yes it lets them know they’re not going to get a no every time they ask. They won’t be as upset when they get a no sometimes.

Make Your Home A Haven

I want to talk a little bit about bigger dreams in the home.

Even if you work outside the home you can have a thriving home.

You don’t have to just be surviving from day to day. God wants your home to be a haven for your family (and for you).

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

He wants it to be a peaceful place.

The outer calm that’s in your home is contributing to that inner peace that’s in your heart.

When I come home and my house is picked up and clean, I can take a sigh of relief and just get comfortable.

When my husband comes home, I really work hard to have something cooking on the stove so that he’s coming home to a quiet, clean, good smelling home. That becomes a haven for him.

He has a hard job, he works really hard, so if I get home before him, I work to have our home be a place that he’s not stressing the minute that he walks in the door.

Tidy Up Before Bed

A couple ways that I do that is with a quick tidying up before bed.

I enlist my family in this.

I say, “Okay every body, we’re, going to pause the TV, and I’m going to set the kitchen timer and we’re going to pick up for five minutes.”

I’ll set a timer and the boys really have a great time. They have fun zooming back and forth and putting stuff away.

Other times, I tell my boys, “You can watch a cartoon, but before you do that, I need you to pick up 10 toys each.” They run around picking up their 10 toys, and then they put them away.

Create Systems To Help Declutter

Clutter attracts clutter.

Even small systems like tidying up help to avoid creating chaos in your home.

What systems might work?

Having fewer items out on your counters.

Sorting your mail at the trash can, so junk mail doesn’t sit and create clutter.

How to Have a Peaceful Home | AshleyVarner.com

You create these systems so that you’re not heaping clutter on top of clutter.

What you’re going to find is when your family comes home, they’re not in a combative or stressed-out mode. They’re feeling calm and it becomes a haven for them.

The world can be hard and overwhelming, so you want your home to be a place your family can come to rest and revive themselves.

Make Prayer A Priority

God also wants your home to be a launching pad for your children.

TBH, I want my kids to make mistakes.

I want them to get trained in my home so that whenever they go out into the world, they are ready to impact the world.

We train them in godliness:

  • We have prayer time every single day.
  • They memorize a verse each week. We use the Hidden In My Heart program that’s available in The Graceful Life shop. They have learned probably three dozen or more verses and they’re six and seven years old right now.
  • We pray for the world in the evenings
  • We pray for different needs on the way to school and for their teachers.

Every morning we are creating our home to be a launching pad for our kids to impact their world for Christ. You can do the same thing! You just have to be intentional.

It’s all about raising confident kids, how you can create a home and an atmosphere that really launches them to want to do big things for God.

Your Home Should Be A Place For Ministry

I believe that God wants your home to be a place for ministry for your family, for them to grow, to fail, let it be a place for grace.

Your home can become a struggle and it doesn’t have to be.

It can be a place that ministers to you.

You can have a system that creates peace in your home and your home can also be a place of ministry for the body of Christ.

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

A lot of you have heard the story of how the Lord blessed us with our home. My husband and I prayed when we received our home, “Lord, we’re giving this home to you. We want You to use it for what You will.”

So what does that look like in real life?

There was a men’s event at our church when they were going to watch a football game together.

Something happened with the broadcast and they couldn’t watch the football game at this event.

My dad called me up and said, “Ashley, can we come over and watch the game at your house?”  

Because I had systems in place my home was picked up.

The church is eight minutes away from our house, so in that eight minutes, I was able to just make sure that there was enough seating. And all these men came over to watch the game.

If my home had been super chaotic and we had tons of dishes, I might have had to say no.

Then I wouldn’t have been able to serve the body of Christ in that way.

Don’t think that just because you don’t have a large home that you can’t minister in your home.

You can mentor other people in your home. You can have a couple come over one Sunday a month for lunch and mentor them.

All of these things can be done if you have systems in place.

You don’t have to just survive motherhood. You don’t just have to survive day to day in your home. You can thrive.

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom

You can be proactive and intentional about using your motherhood and using your home for ministry and for the glory of the Lord.

I’m not saying all these things because I have it all together and I do all of these things all the time.

There are things that I still need to work at.  

And once my kids are out of the house there will be a whole new set of rules for empty nesters.

But, I have seen the difference that these small systems make so I can start to dream bigger.  

I am not just doing what has to be done, but I’m using my talents, my home, and my motherhood for ministry.

I want to give you guys a little treat. It’s a free printable that is all about reducing stress with routines.

Reducing Stress with Routines

There are some sample routines, but it’s a worksheet so that you can create your own. It’s completely free.

You can grab it, download it, and start using it so that you can begin to get out of that survival mode and start to enjoy your motherhood and your home a lot more.

And as always, head over to the Girl of Grace Facebook group and let me know what routines you use to help reduce your stress!

Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom
Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom
Dreaming Big: Discovering Your Purpose as a Mom | AshleyVarner.com #christianmom #momlife #productivemom #purposefulmom