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Social Distancing and Motherhood | How to Increase Faith During Hard Times

Social Distancing and Motherhood | How to Increase Faith During Hard Times

Last Friday was Ava’s birthday. My baby girl turned one! I can’t believe it’s been a year! On her birthday to keep a long story short my phone died (and never came back to life).

I tried on two different Mac computers to revive it through iTunes with no luck. So it’s been a week without a phone for me. The Lord took social distancing to a whole nother level!

Social distancing is becoming a new way of life during these very troubling times.It’s very weird right now to say the least. And really hard for some people quite frankly. 

In our household we’re leaning HEAVILY on faith. With my husband off work we HAVE TO lean on God (even more). Really, we all need the Lord to get us through this time and so when my phone died I was hurt at first.

And of course hormonal because I am currently 25 weeks pregnant. I was just hormonal, crying, frustrated and just upset because I couldn’t get my phone to work and now a week later I have a whole new outlook on life.

SOCIAL Distancing 

Not only life but life without social media. Life without having your phone stuck to your hand. It allowed me to be more present. 

More present in my household, in my marriage and as a mother.

During this time social distancing has allowed me to really just look at things differently. So I went back to a scripture today about stretching because a lot of us are out here stretching because of this virus! 

Maybe our kids are at home or our husbands aren’t working or we’re not working. We’re stretching we’re having to stretch finances or food to make ends meet. In the church pastors are trying to figure out ways to be virtual and have an online ministry. 

So we’re stretching. But a lot of us are stretching towards the wrong thing. 

Luke 6:10 says:

First he looked around at them all and then said to the man stretch out your hand. So the man stretched out his hand and his hand was completely restored

The man had a crippled hand so he stretched out his hand to Jesus and was instantly healed and made his whole.

Stretched Out

Like I said we’re stretching but we’re stretching towards the wrong things. Finances in shambles? Have you stretched towards the Lord in prayer to ask him to provide for you?

When I think of stretching I think of growth. Sometimes our growth as Christians comes from stretching. Our growth comes from hearing the call of God (whatever he has called you to do in this time) and being obedient!

Luke 11: 28 says: 

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. 

Meaning you’re blessed if you’re reading the word of God you hear the word of God and actually following it. I had the realization with my phone that the Lord was stretching me but he was stretching me towards Him. Stretching towards Jesus in this time where I don’t have access to the world. 

But I didn’t need access to the world. I needed to keep my access open to Him…

Just like muscles need to be stretched in order to grow and before you exercise you stretch beforehand and afterwards for flexibility for strength. That’s how we have to be as Christians. We have to be able to stretch, be flexible for God and his plans for us, and strengthen our relationship with God so that we can grow. 

Yeah you might be stretching your finances or in your personal life. You might be stretching right now but the Lord is trying to stretch you for good.

Pregnant women don’t start off with big bellies, right? They are stretched over time and as the baby grows, that’s how we develop in the womb of God. Taking in nutrients from the Lord through the word of God in order to grow in our faith.

Increasing Faith

Practical Tips to Increase Faith During Hard Times:

  • Limit Local/World News and Social Media
  • Put your phone in a different room during devotional time
  • Create a space specifically designed for time with the Lord (war room, prayer closet, etc.)
  • Open your actual bible, highlight, take notes
  • Pray for those affected
  • Include yourself in your prayers (for me this can be hard)
  • If you struggle with prayer, set a timer (5 mins to start), if you go past the timer great! Increase your time as you get comfortable.
  • Listen to worship music when feeling overwhelmed
  • Remember to stop and listen for God’s voice during/after devotional time

Comment below your thoughts

Sleep Training Baby Methods to Sleep Through the Night

Sleep Training Baby Methods to Sleep Through the Night

Sleep training a baby is like training for a marathon without adequate rest. You’re tired, your body can’t cope, and you get absolutely nowhere without a little endurance. 

I’m not saying these tips will work over night but with a schedule and a little consistency (and a lot of endurance) you can do it mama!

Sleep Training vs. Co-Sleeping

The age old debate. Is co-sleeping okay?

 My answer: DO YOU MAMA.

I remember one night I had an absolute breakdown! I just started crying out of nowhere in the middle of the night (probably between 2-4am). I screamed “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!” 

Scare my husband of course, but it seemed like baby Ava was just crying nonstop. I was also in a nonstop motion of breastfeed, change diaper, swaddle, repeat.

That’s when I knew something had to change. FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH.

So I started looking into ways to help my baby sleep longer at night, and in turn allow me to get rest as well! So here are some sleep training tips that helped me and I truly PRAY they help you too!

Top Tips for Sleep Training

Time Method

This method has a name I’m sure because I found it on another mommy blog but it’s when you make the baby comfortable (fed, swaddled, changed etc) and leave the baby in the crib. Remember to say goodnight!

Then, most likely after sometime, the baby will begin to cry.

I mean why are you on this blog if your baby is not waking up and crying through the night right?

They wake up, cry, after a minute of crying (oh yea you might want a timer for this method) you go back to the baby, touch them and reassure them that everything is okay. DO NOT PICK UP THE BABY.

I repeat: DO NOT PICK UP THE BABY.

Picking up the baby defeats the purpose of the method. So after you’ve reassured the baby, leave. If the baby begins to cry again (or never stopped) 5 minutes later you repeat reassurance. Use 5 minute intervals to repeat the process(5,10,15) But I wouldn’t recommend going over 15 minutes and up to a total of 1 hour. We don’t want the baby to feel abandoned.

Co-Sleeping in Nursery

The next method is not how it sounds like. You are NOT getting inside the crib lol. This method is simply using the above time method in conjunction with mama being in the room. It’s another way to let a baby know although they are in their own bed you will still be there if they need anything.

Once again, no abandoned feelings for the baby.

This method can be difficult to do for long periods. I only lasted 3 days before we went back to my comfy bed and attempted to get some rest before trying again.


Cater To Mom

Sleep Training Suit

I can’t recommend this method enough! Similar to a swaddle, the sleep suit helps suppress the startle reflex for babies. This is the sleep suit we used and it was AMAZING. It has the material of a blanket and looks like a mini snow suit.

It worked wonders for my baby until she discovered the wonders of her thumb. Yep, I have a thumb sucker.

The suit didn’t allow her to have free access to her thumb BUT her thumb became a way for her to self soothe which worked out for us!

The 3 B’s 

Ahhh the 3 B’s. 

Bath.

Bottle or Breast.

Bed.

With this routine my baby now sleeps 8 to sometimes 12 hours at night. Which allows mama to get tons of rest (kinda, since baby #2 in the womb doesn’t allow much of that).

Daddy still gets tons of rest I guess. Lol

But the 3 B’s are a must have in any routine. Use it with the sleep suit or with the time method, just use it!  A warm bath, warm bottle, and comfy crib. I mean wouldn’t you want the same? I warm bath with a hot cup of tea and comfy sheets? That would put me right to sleep!

Then again, anything would put me right to sleep right now…

Smells Like Mama

This tip was given to me by one of my YouTube subscribers. Thanks mama!

It’s simply taking a piece of clothing (maybe the shirt you wore that day) or one of your pillowcases and laying it inside the bassinet. A shirt or pillowcase works best because you can actually use that instead of a bassinet sheet. It doesn’t work well in a crib (too big).

Sound Machines

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it right?

We have used a sound machine since Ava came home and I’m sorta kinda afraid to stop using it, just in case it’s the one thing that keeps her sleep. Seems silly but like I said. It ain’t broke.

Here’s the sound machine we use, and we also used a fan (in the Summer months) which seemed to do the same thing! 

I’ll probably add a few more tips here in a couple of months when we add baby #2 to the mix. I’m sure 2 under 2 will be difficult in the sleep department but we plan on using some of the same methods to sleep train (probably a little later in development) with baby #2.

Have you tried any of these tips mama? Comment below how your sleep journey is going. I would love to pray for you!

TTC Encouragement for the Two Week Wait

TTC Encouragement for the Two Week Wait

In need of a little TTC encouragement for the two week wait today? It’s okay, we all need a little pick me up from time to time. And guess what? The Bible is a great source for encouragement! There are stories of victory, strength and healing. And LOADS of encouraging words. Don’t believe me? Well, check out these encouraging scriptures for yourself. 

This post has affiliate links that will generate a SMALL commission for us if you were to purchase something through them. Please see our disclosure.

Why dies it always seem like the two week wait is like two decades long? I know it’s not just me. I truly believe the two week wait is just preparing us for the 9 month long haul we have in front of us for pregnancy.

Because, guess what? That 2 weeks turns into a 40 week wait. A beautifully long and testing 40 week wait. So let’s get into a some TTC encouragement for you journey ahead!

ttc encouragement

A Little TTC Encouragement

Like I said before, I believe that God gives the best encouragement through his Word. The Word of God is so powerful and it helps calm me in my times of need. It helps encourage when feeling discouraged. The word sends warmth when feeling cold and alone. Trust in the Lord sis, with all your heart during this time. Lean not unto your own understanding.

RELATED POSTS:
The BEST Fertility Prayer
How to Get Pregnant FAST
Bible Verses for Miscarriage

Because guess what?! If we tried to understand EVERYTHING about TTC it would make us go crazy. That’s why we need a little TTC encouragement to keep going.

First we have to give our worries over. Release all burdens to the Lord for he cares for you. Rest and be assured that you are not in this alone!

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. -Jesus (Matthew 11:28)

TTC encouragement

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. – God (Isaiah 41:20)

TTC encouragement
The Baby Dust Box

Baby Dust Box

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

TTC encouragement

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

TTC encouragement

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

TTC encouragement

Comment below some scriptures that keep you encouraged!

ttc encouragement
10 Work From Home Jobs for Moms With a Full-Time Job

10 Work From Home Jobs for Moms With a Full-Time Job

Work from home jobs especially for moms are becoming the norm in today’s society. Not only because of social isolation which is now affecting us during our current pandemic status. But also because it gives us a sense of freedom and creativity as we navigate our individual lives.

I personally love working from home and I’m not sure who wouldn’t. Unless, of course, working outside of the home in your current career is bringing you so much joy,  more power to you.

But as an introvert this work from home life is definitely for me.

This post has affiliate links that will generate a SMALL commission for us if you were to purchase something through them. Please see our disclosure.

Over the past few years I have tested out a few work-from-home gigs and now that I’m a mother I’m beginning to establish myself as a content creator here in the blogging community.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 work from home jobs that  anyone can do with a little dedication and a lot of passion. I tried (and made money with)  that I’m going to list and actually have built 7 streams of income strictly with my work from home jobs.

And with the current times of a global pandemic I think  more than ever that it’s time for me to share my experience with you so stay tuned for 10 work from home jobs you can do with a full-time job.

Work From Home

Work From Home Jobs

YouTuber

First up is YouTube! You can definitely build a profitable business on YouTube from home while working a full-time job. As with any of the jobs I’m listing, it will require some consistency as well as knowing who you want to serve.

You can start a YouTube channel today with just your Gmail account and be well on your way to making an income. I started my YouTube channel in July 2017 and was able to start monetizing a year later.

Blogger

Blogging for income is definitely not new but  it has become more popular as social media becomes more prevalent. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re on a blog when we’re searching for different recipes or for new mom tips.  

You’re currently on my blog and I am a blogger who makes an income from writing about topics I’m passionate about. 

Start your blog today for under $5 with Bluehost. I used Bluehost to build my first website and it is very user friendly!

Online Tutor

Become an online tutor! This is a definitely an amazing opportunity to take advantage of during this time (pandemic) where many schools have gone virtual. You can also teach english online to other countries with VIPkid (bachelor’s degree required).

Rate + Pay: average of $22/hour

Become a Health Coach

I’m a part-time health coach through Team Beachbody and it’s truly been a blessing both physically (I lost 30 lbs postpartum and gained abs… ABS y’all!) and financially. Last year, I brought in over $2,000 in extra income (working less than 5 hours a week). I know some coaches who bring in $2,000 a week!

Sign up here to become a part of our coaching team.

Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is the easy way to make income if done right. Do you often get asked “Hey I like your so and so, where’d you get it from?” Then you can probably become an affiliate marketer!

Affiliate marketers refer customers/clients/friends to certain companies and receive a percentage of the purchase if a customer buys from the company. Here are some affiliate companies I use:
Amazon
Shareasale

Amazon Seller

Becoming an Amazon seller is different from Amazon Affiliates. You can sign up to become an Amazon seller through Amazon FBA (fullfilment by Amazon). I’ve used Amazon FBA before and it was a fairly easy process. I used it to sell items around my house I was no longer using and made a few hundred dollars. 

You can make it a business by reselling popular items, books, etc through Amazon FBA. There are many YouTube video tutorials on how to get started with this.

Etsy Shop Owner

Are you artsy or crafty? You could probably create a business on Etsy then! Selling on Etsy is actually pretty cheap too (like cents per listing). 

Online Course Creator

Here’s another online business that I’ve personally created for myself. Online course creation is both fun and easy to do! If you have a passion for something (ANYTHING)and would love to teach it to other people than course creation might be right for you!

You can create your own course through companies like Teachable or Thinkific.

Sell Ebooks

Similar to Ecourses, Ebooks are a great way to create income for yourself. Again, find your passion, write out content and create an ebook! Sell on your blog or even on Amazon.

Take Surveys

If you’re constantly on your phone, why not take a couple of surveys while you’re at it. I like to take surveys for income while watching TV or netflixing and chilling with my hubby. It’s actually a pretty easy way to bring in a bit of income. I personally use Swagbucks and they pay through Paypal or gift cards. (I just cashed out for a Target gift card, Yaasss Tarjay here I come)

For my fellow nurses:

Nurse Reviewer

I currently work full-time at home as a Nurse Reviewer for a health insurance company. As an LPN ($18-22/hr) I actually started at an RN rate ($25-30/hr). I review hospital clinical and assist in discharge planning for acute care hospitals and post acute facilities. Some health insurance companies that often have remote nursing jobs include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Wellcare, and Aetna.

I hope this post helps you make a decision on if working from home could be possible for you! It has definitely been a blessing for my family and continues to bless us during a time where online businesses are thriving!

The Fertility Diet that changed my life

Comment below which of the above you’re going to try. I pray you have success!

Pregnancy and Viruses | What You Should Know

Pregnancy and Viruses | What You Should Know

There’s plenty of false information circulating the internet regarding how viruses affect our population. We often hear about the elderly or those who have specific immunocompromised conditions but rarely is fertility or pregnancy and viruses mentioned. I wanted to make sure, YOU, as my dedicated readers are informed and have access to correct information, as it pertains to pregnancy and viruses.

This post has affiliate links that will generate a SMALL commission for us if you were to purchase something through them. Please see our disclosure.

Pregnancy and Viruses

Fortunately, as a work from home mom and born to be introvert, I’ve had the pleasure of being at home during this current 2020 pandemic.

But, when I do go out, whether it is to church (in which we go to 3 times a week), or to everyone’s fav: Tarjay. I always seem to “catch” something.

Let me backup here. I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant as I am writing this post. 24 weeks pregnant with baby #2 who has been a WHOLE different type of ballgame. 

I RARELY got pregnant with my first born, but then again, I wasn’t pregnant then during a global pandemic…

Anywho, I’m currently pregnant and my immune system, although pretty awesome beforehand (thanks to my years of working in the healthcare industry) is now complete POOP.

I mean, I went to bible study a month ago completely healthy and the next day was DOWN for the count.

I’m pretty sure you can see where I’m getting at. During fertility and also during pregnancy it’s important that we stay as healthy as possible! Let’s be real, there’s a baby (or potential baby) growing in there! We have to make sure it’s getting the appropriate nutrients and lots of prayer, right?

Baby-Doppler-Sonoline-B

While we’re on the subject of prayer. I encourage you during this time to not let fear consume you. I know it’s hard enough during TTC and during pregnancy to think about the “what ifs”

But scripture reminds us that God did not give us the spirit of fear. But of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND (2 Timothy 1:7).

When fear starts to sink in, here’s an exercise you can do that’s helped me IMMENSELY.

  1. Write down the fear.
  2. Describe how you have POWER over that fear.
  3. How can I LOVE in order to combat fear?
  4. Write affirmations to confirm the SOUND MIND God has given you in reference to that fear.

Example:
Fear: I’m afraid if I become sick it will harm my unborn child.
Power: I have the power to eat healthy foods and pray scripture over my womb.
Love: I can show love by talking with my husband about my concerns and not keeping them to myself.
Sound Mind: I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I will not be consumed by fear.

Don’t let fear paralyze you sis, instead, speak the word of God over it and watch God do the rest.

Oh Baby Boxes

Now that we’ve been spiritually fed, I compiled some credible resources for you to consider watching and reading concerning our physical health. It includes a YouTube video made by an OBGYN concerning pregnancy and viruses as well as the CDC and WHO websites. 

We should always make sure if we’re going to listen to any of the media, that it comes from a credible resource. And of course the most credible resource who knows the plan He has for ALL of us is God!

Who Should We Listen To?

As a nurse I have referenced the following two organizations many times in my studies. I often review their articles as well to stay up-to-date on current events, medical discoveries and more. During a time where anything and everything is placed on social media, it’s vital to remain vigilant in who you consider as a credible resource.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC- Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Coronavirus
World Health Organization

As a believer, I reference this book everyday. Yep, you guessed it. The BIBLE. Here are some scriptures to keep in mind as we go through this troubling season.

Also, here’s the YouTube video I mentioned earlier. Although she admits to not knowing EVERYTHING to know about pregnancy and viruses (because of the quickly evolving viruses out there), she does make some great points and tips to consider.

I hope this was helpful, comment below if you are in any way being affected by sickness or the current coronavirus (out of work, lack of daycare, currently sick or self-quarantined). I’d love to pray for you!