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intentional motherhood

Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention


Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention


Intention.  Our determination to act a certain way.  Resolve.  Significance.  What one intends to bring about.  - Merriam Webster.  

I love this word intention.  Not only does it talk about having a determination or a drive, but it also addresses our own significance.  Do you ever find your significance lacking through the comparison game, or the feeling of never measuring up?  Me too.  I totally creep down that path some days.  But, something that I have begun to implement this year are a few things that I have started doing as I wake up and as I go to sleep that I do with a heart of intention to help me focus on the right things in life. 

Father and daughter enjoying time together outside by a stream

Waking up with Intention

Every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I have started trying to do these 5 things.  4 of which I heard from Jenna Kutcher and her amazing podcast.  But here they are: 

1. Think of 3 things that I am grateful for. 

2. Pray.  I pray for have a heart of service, a heart of freedom, and that I would enjoy the day, that I would fight for joy, and be able to notice the small places of joy He brings before me. 

3. List out the top 3 things I need to accomplish today.  (I actually list these out the night before, so I simply think upon them so that I bring them to my attention). 

4. Drink a glass of water.  I always have water beside my bed, but Jenna reminded me of the importance of drinking a large amount of water in the morning so as to jump start your metabolism and help with brain function, and I would have to say that I have noticed a difference in my drowsiness in the morning with drinking a large amount first thing in the morning. 

5. Finally, stretching.  If I am able I try to also do a couple of stretches in the morning.  Typically I will do some hamstring stretches right in my bed, or I will stand up beside my bed.  

All of this together takes me less than 5 minutes.  Typically closer to 2-3 minutes, and it really has been changing the way I feel in the morning. 

mother with daughter moody black and white portrait

Why Living Intentionally Matters 

Why is this so important to me?  Why does it matter?  For me, a couple of reasons.  First, I want my life to be the best picture of the gospel that I am able.  And because I am incredibly selfish, (which now shows up more than I could have ever imagined being a mother), I need practical steps to help me focus my attention and desires off of myself and to that of my creator.  I want my life to be reflective of fresh water pouring out, and this is only slightly possible if I first reflect on the goodness of the Lord.  And secondly, I have to remember to take steps to take care of myself physically and mentally as well.  I am so bad about putting everyone and everything else about myself and my own needs.  And while this can be good in some aspects, such as care taking for my children, I have to also remember that I cannot run or pour out from a dry cup.  I have to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be equipped to take care of others.  I have to remember how to enjoy the Father and this body He created if I am to teach that to others as well.  I have to come first sometimes.  And that is where these steps to waking up with intention come into play. 

Detail shot of girl- highlighting her eyelashes

Going to Bed with Intention

Here is where I confess my true struggle.  The social media scroll.  Goodness, why is this so incredibly hard for me?  So many of my evenings are wasted away from scrolling for far too long.  But something I have started to implement at bedtime are these 3 things: 

1. Write out my list of what I need to get accomplished the next day.  This helps me prepare what I need to the night before to be ready to actually accomplish what needs to happen the next day.  This eliminates so much stress and helps my brain to turn off at night. 

2. Every night I put on my coconut oil with lavender moisturizer.  I LOVE this! It is a simple way that I can pamper myself, and not only does it help my skin, but it also helps me to relax and helps me to sleep better! 

3. Read.  I have gotten into the habit, instead of scrolling on social media (not that I don't still do it at all, but I set a limit of about 10 minutes), I make sure to end my evening with a couple of pages in a book.  It literally is only 5 minutes some nights.  But, someone once told me that whatever you intake right before going to bed, will also be what your mind thinks of first thing in the morning.  Which I think could be true. When I scroll, thats the first thing I also want to run to in the morning.  But, when I read and activate my mind, it seems that is the first thing I also want to do in the morning.  And not only that, it brings my heart more peace and clarity as I think on things that are true and enlightening right before bed, versus comparing myself right before bed. It leaves me on a positive note rather than negative.  

(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here:

(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here:


How will you live with Intention this week? 

So, are you on board with me?  Do you feel like there are some areas you could adjust and tweak to live your life with more intention?  What I truly believe happens in this process is that we are able to have more joy.  We are filing our hearts and our minds with more truth, and less compassion and doubt, and I truly think that is such a beautiful thing.  If you want to take it one step further, I also created an amazing guide: 5 Steps to Reducing Stress that you can get here if you would like.  

Let's choose more intention this week, so that we can lean more fully into the spaces the Lord has for us.  I can guarantee our lives will be more full experience His goodness over our selfishness. The intentional life is the fruitful life. 

~Rooting for you, from my home to yours this week, 




THE Stay at Home Mamas; You are so much more than JUST a mom!

A Stirring of the Heart

So, something has been stirring around that I have heard a lot of within some of my friend circles and it is truly something I feel passionately about that we are moving in the wrong direction in within society. 

There is a current rising trend within stay at home moms as of late to pursue entrepreneurial ventures on the side as well traditional motherhood.  Here me in this, I clearly think there is nothing wrong with that, as I myself run my own photography business.  However, I think that we as women do need to make sure we are specifically called to what we are stepping into and recognize that it is indeed a job, it is indeed a sacrifice, and it does indeed take away from your family life. And if there is not a financial need for it, or a specific calling into it, then is it the right thing to be stepping into?


More than JUST a Mom

Some of my amazing friends were talking to me about how they were JUST a mom, as if they were not enough within our busy new culture being a mom.  But let me tell you, it can be the most beautiful season and the most beautiful thing to JUST be a mom.  You have the opportunity for one on one time with your child.  You are the only one who can love like you do, you are the only one who can build them up emotionally like you can, you are the only one who can care for them and tuck them in and bounce with them and cradle them and nurse them and swaddle them and correct them just the way you do.  YOU are their mothers and you are making an eternal impact, an eternal difference within the lives of your children.  And that is enough mamas.  Shouldn't that be enough for us?

I was recently listening to a podcast, Risen Motherhood, in which they were interviewing Ruth Chou Simons.  What said has stuck with me for several weeks now.  She mentioned that "just because a door is opened, just because you CAN do something, does not mean that you SHOULD."  She has an amazing hand lettering company with gorgeous prints and just released a brand new book.  She has 6 boys and looks like she is doing it all.  But she is honest about not doing too much when her boys were younger so that she could invest the time.  I would highly suggest this 20 minute interview with her to any mamas out there.  It was truly so rich with good stuff! It has been mulling over and over and over again in my head.  Just because we as woman CAN do something does not mean that we always should. 


We Cannot Do It All My Friends 

And I just see this concept being pushed on moms everywhere, that motherhood alone is not enough, that you have to be doing something on the side to be the “cool” mom, the “hip” mom.  Or, it is broadcasted that stay at home entrepreneurs can do it all.  And my friends, it is just not true.  I am here to tell you.  I LOVE what I get to do.  I love the stories I get to document and the amazing families that I encounter, however, please I ask you to forgiveme if I have ever portrayed that this is the IT life.  I have to make a sacrifices, for it truly is a business.  There are MANY nights I am up until midnight, missing time and snuggles with my sweet husband as I edit and get all my business things in order.  I cannot attend all the playdates or church functions or be all the places, because I have a business I am running, and I have to be at home a lot to work.  My husband and mother-in-law watch the kids a lot for me as I shoot sessions or attend meetings.  And for me, this works.  I love beingable to photograph families, making extraordinary of their lives, bringing rich hope to their walls and advocating for orphans around the world.  It is a part of me and bleeds out of me, and I truly think I am a better mom for it.  BUT, goodness you guys it comes at a lofty price.  No one person can do all the things nor should they.  We can only be affective within the few things God has gifted us well in.  


THE Stay at Home Mamas

So friends who are “just” stay at home mommas.  Can we please change the jargon??!  For goodness sakes, can we please instead say that we are THE STAY AT HOME MAMAS.   Let’s form an amazing new tribe for you shall we?  Can we rejoice with you and sing over you and build you up and encourage and affirm this hard task you have before you.  You are being intentional with your children.  You get to spend this time with them, and soak them in.  And not to say you shouldn’t also have girlfriend time and enjoy girls nights out or all those things.  By all means PLEASE do!  You need it sisters!  But also, recognize the weight of the amazing job you have placed before you.  May we as mothers get off our phones, stop comparing to all the things we think we should be of those around us, and instead step into the unique calling we have right between our two feet.  May we be fully present right where we are at, and be all there.  Be all there with your kids mamas.  (I am speaking to myself here too! ) Be all there, abide with the Lord, give your kids attention and love and I can promise you, when you look back, you won’t be upset at all, for all those things you were never a part of.  Let’s get intentional, let’s get small with our focus, and let’s do exactly what we are being asked and just not look to all the things we “should” be doing in the eyes of the world. 

So, whether you are a full time mama, a part time mama, a stay at home entrepreneur mama, or THE stay at home mama.  Consider it a blessing.  Use your influence.  And THE Stay at home mamas.  I see you.  I know its hard.  I know you don’t get the recognition you deserve and that your days are spent teaching and giving grace over and over again.  It is so stinking hard.  But can you be brave?  Can you have the courage to step up and own your job, own your place and be crazy excited about it?! Time is one thing we will never get back.  So, let’s STOP believing we need to squeeze in more things, and instead let's do the things we can in front of us well.  

May we not be defined by our jobs or our thoughts of the type of mother we are, but rather in who we are in Christ.  May our identities rest there and there alone.  May we rock at being stay at home mothers and rock at being working moms.  It is all just as significant.  It is all beautiful and messy and hard.  It is all work and sacrifice.  So, let’s run after our specific missions well and rejoice with our sisters on all platforms.  And in doing so, in joining this mission to be THE stay at home mamas, may we foster healthier families, and more loving homes filled with care and attention.  Families that are chosen, desired, knit together and valued.  Families that change the world start within the family members themselves. 

~Rooting for you, THE stay at home mamas.  

You’ve got this.  You are so deeply loved my friends.