Positive Parenting

I have been thinking a lot about passing on positive vibes to Jaxen. I recently returned back to school, and being that my major is Children and Youth Studies, the topic of the emotional state of our children is something that is discussed daily. I am sure that we all are aware that our state of mind definitely affects our little ones, but I couldn't help but think of those very real moments that it is extremely hard to be positive.

I'm sure you all said amen for that one. You know, when it's only 1 am but its actually the 7th time that your child woke up to breastfeed. Or how about when you finally get them down for a nap, pour a glass of wine, and turn on Netflix, just to hear a loud yell coming from the next room? How can we stay positive in these moments?

I'm glad you asked. Here are 5 steps to keep your cool and remain positive

Positive Parenting 101

1. Let go of expectations

If there is one thing that I have learned in relationships, it is that expectations leave room for disappointment. It is definitely hard to remain positive when you're experiencing disappointment. Lets kiss expectations goodbye, and go with the flow, that way our state of mind is not disrupted when things don't go as we expect. So the next time you put baby down for a nap with plans to sip some wine and catch up on Netflix, you wont be so disheartened when he or she wakes up as soon as your butt hits the sofa.

2. Search for the good

It is so easy to see and focus on the negative. There are many things that happen during the day that can throw us over the edge. Baby fell down again, had a poop explosion, or ripped up that important document that you needed to fax within the next few minutes. Although these events can become so stressful that they cause a vein pop, there is still good to be found in each situation. Baby may have fell, but thank God they are still alive and healthy. Yes, this is the forth blowout this week, but there are children who struggle in that area. I'm sure their parents would kill to clean up a blowout. And although that paper is ripped to pieces, it can be reprinted, and baby didn't swallow the document. 

I have found that finding the good in every situations helps me to remain positive. 

3. Take a moment for yourself

The day can be pretty chaotic. Running around, changing diapers, cooking dinner, going to work or school. Chaos does not leave space for positive vibes. It is ok and necessary to take a moment for yourself. Even if that moment is in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, and speaking positive affirmations over yourself and the day.This time is necessary. When you take the time to reboot, you allow yourself to let go of the negative and dance back into your positive space.

4. Live in the now

Negativity is pretty sneaky. Something as simple as not living in the moment can allow negativity to enter your home. Instead of thinking of all the things you wish you could do, or would rather be doing, focus on the joys of the now. Whatever moment that you are in, you will not have the opportunity to live in again.  So the text message, the social media, the overwhelming thought of what you will cook later, and the cleaning that you need to do can wait. The now is more important.

5. Find  community

It is so important to have others who are in the same walk of life as you to talk to. There is nothing like relating with others. Its calming and refreshing to know that others are experiencing the same situations as you because it is so easy to think that you're in this alone. When I find myself falling into a negative space, things like mommy and me classes, or visiting my sister in love and nephew are what brings me back to a positive space. Positive vibes increase when you find people that are there for you, and willing to walk with you.

I hope these 5 tips to positive parenting help you to be the best parent that you can be!

xx Jo


The Key To Life

“After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.”
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 MSG

Instant conviction. You see most of the time I am far from living in and enjoying the moment.  I'm pretty sure I spend 99% of the day dreaming about tomorrow. My thought process looks a little something like this;

" When I graduate, and get a good job, I can't wait to move. I'll get this car, Jax will be old enough to go to this school. Tomorrow I need to edit that blog. Saturday I need to go to the grocery store. I can't wait to finish school. What's for dinner? Am I done with school yet?" 

Talk about not living in the moment! I'm pretty sure most of you can agree with me. Our minds are naturally running and thinking about what's to come. 

But how can we learn to live in the moment?

In the opening scripture, Solomon gives us some tips. I am trying to embed these tips in my heart and mind. Let's jump right in! 

After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot.

Take Care Of Yourself. Have A Good Time. Have you ever met someone who could have a good time with any circumstance given to them? Maybe you are that person, and if you aren't I'm sure you can't think of someone who pretty much lives for the moment. I don't think it's a coincidence that take care of yourself and have a good time are listed back to back. 

When we think of taking care of ourselves, our minds probably go right to things like a massage, manicure, a haircut, or buying ourselves something nice. 

We need to consider adding living in the moment, and having a good time to that list! 

When we choose to live in the moment, and enjoy whatever is happening we are in return taking care of ourselves. We are pushing the stress and worries of tomorrow out the door and welcoming in peace, and happiness. 

Now for some of you, the next part struck a nerve. Make the most of my job? MY job? I know you can come up with 10,000 reasons not to make the most of your job. And for all of you out there holding down a household, I know that can be overwhelming and stressful too. 

I believe that Solomon knew how tough jobs can be, no matter what you do in life, that is why he took the time to remind us to enjoy what we do. We can't possibly enjoy our jobs, no matter what they are, if we aren't living in the moment. Let's try to live a life where we find joy in what we do, I believe it's more about having an attitude of gratitude. Let's make the most of what we have! 

Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.”

Delighting: take great pleasure in.

We should take great pleasure in what God has given us. Our home, our kids, our jobs, our cars, our friends, our family, OUR LIFE! 


God deals out joy in the PRESENT, THE NOW
God deals out joy in the PRESENT, THE NOW
God deals out joy in the PRESENT, THE NOW 

Have you been lacking joy? Chances are you aren't living in and appreciating the now! (and guys trust me as I type these words are slapping me in the face, no judgment here.) 

So, friends, as I am growing and learning, and as I challenge myself, I want to challenge you guys too!! 

This is obviously not an overnight change, but we can start somewhere. 

• Take care of yourself (by having a good time) 
• Make the most of your job
• Take great pleasure in what God has given us 
• Live in the PRESENT 
• Live in the NOW 

that's the KEY TO LIFE 

xx Jo


Self Care

Photo By: Lisa Fotios
You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.- Unknown

For the last 6 months, I have struggled with the idea of self-care. My mind and heart were constantly reminding me that I needed to do everything in my power to put my husband, Jaxen, and the home first. The idea of wanting a 5-minute break to just scroll on Instagram seemed selfish to me. Wanting an hour to blog, or work on projects made me feel terrible!

How dare I want time to myself.

I mean I was blessed with this amazing baby boy, home, and husband. Why am I finding myself not wanting to dedicate every second of my day to them? Am I becoming self-absorbed? Maybe I’m being selfish.

These are the thoughts that followed the little nudge to just take some time to relax.
To be completely transparent, I was becoming tired. I felt worn out, and drained. The joyful, peaceful Jo was becoming an old grumpy hag. I found myself being extremely irritable, and just downright unhappy.

What was missing? What was going wrong?

Self Care
Let’s break that down;
Self: a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
Care: the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

So, self-care can be defined as providing what is necessary for the health, welfare, and protection of a person’s essential being.

Moms, dads, future moms, and future dads, practicing self-care is a MUST.

I realized that in order for Jaxen, and Marquise to be happy, and for our home to function, I needed to be in a good space. I mean come on, it’s a well-known fact that your babies can feel your emotions, and react to them.

It was time to kiss the guilt goodbye, and take care of myself. Something as simple as taking a bath for more than five minutes, going to the coffee shop with friends, or even painting my nails, really lifted my spirits.

I realized that I needed to do everything necessary to maintain the health and welfare of my body, mind, and spirit.

& ladies and gentlemen, I am feeling my BEST.

So, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves. It is not selfish to take a minute to breath in, and out. It is actually selfish to carry on through life not taking care of yourself.

How can we be happy and healthy parents, wives, husbands, friends, if we aren’t happy with ourselves? Take some time today to inhale, and exhale.

Join me on my journey to be a better me.




Walk It Out

Hey y'all ! Once again, happy new year! I can't even believe how quickly 2016 came and left. There is something that has been on my heart (since last year haha) and now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, let's talk about the P word. 


After becoming a mom, the idea of living my life to the fullest potential has never left my thoughts, my heart, or my spirit. I have been seeking God like never before, and while it isn't always easy, trying to making time to hear him speak. 

I know for a fact that we all have a purpose embedded in us. Most of us have an idea of what it is that we are meant to be doing in life. 

These ideas may be pounding at the doors of our hearts, or may just resurface here and there. No matter what way they come to you, please, please, please don't ignore them.

At this point I'm convinced that with every dream, idea, or calling fear is waiting right around the corner, and who walks hand and hand with fear? Mr. Excuse.

Way too often we let our fear of failure, and excuses enslave our purpose. While on this journey to discover my purpose and walk it out, I began reading Jeremiah. This scripture could not have come at a better time, and I've been meditating on it for the last few days. 

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.””
Jeremiah 1:5 MSG

Now this scripture is one that I have read over 100 times, but it never meant as much to me as it does now. We can find courage in knowing that although some of us are still searching for our purpose, God already set us apart, for the exact calling that is over us. 

Appointed: Decided before hand; designated

Come on now! Before we were born; God decided beforehand that we were called to do more than just live an ordinary life. 

I know you're probably thinking "Who me?" And to be completely honest, so was I! We aren't the only ones, let's look at how Jeremiah responds.

“But I said, “Hold it, Master GOD! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!””
Jeremiah 1:6 MSG

Haha. I literally laughed out loud when I read this, because that was my exact response. 

When God reveals your purpose to you, it's normal, human to say "Who me? I'm just Jenny from the block" or "Uh you have to be kidding me I'm 50 years old!" I think that sometimes we can beat ourselves up for not living a life of certainty regarding every single situation. I'm glad that this story was recorded to show that reassurance from God is right around the corner from doubt; doubt that is completely normal to have.

“GOD told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” GOD ’s Decree.”
Jeremiah 1:7-8 MSG

Man, God always shuts it DOWN! Let's do a little exercise. Whatever doubts that you have about your purpose, or whatever fears you may have about even digging to see what your purpose is, let's replace that with Jeremiah's response "I'm only a boy." 

Here's mine, don't laugh I'm being vulnerable here:

"God told me, don't say I'm only Jo. A woman still working on a college degree after all these years. A woman who came from a broken home. A woman who hasn't mastered proper English 101. A woman that feels like her blog probably isn't reaching many people." My list can go on and on. 

Let's agree to stop speaking, thinking and focusing on negative things. When we find our purpose, or for those of you who already know what their purpose is, God will tell us where to go, and what to say. We shouldn't be afraid of a soul. Not even our own. He is and always will be with us. 

Trust me I don't have it all figured out, but focusing on this scripture sure is helping. On this journey that we are all on, finding and living out all that is in store for us, I'm praying that we will stop letting our fears stop us from exploring all that we are destined to be.




Breaking All The Rules

"I'm convinced that the tradition of setting New Year goals was only created to remind us of how inconsistent we all are. Now where is the fun in that? " -Jo M. 

It's that time of year again for, let's say it together " New Year, New Me."  Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend that this slogan has not left my lips the last few years. As the year comes to an end most of us can attest to the fact that the pressure to set new goals for ourselves is breathing down our backs. Goals that can only be "achieved" on January 1st and any day after that. 

It's time to end this terrible tradition. Out with that old, and in with new. 

This year I am not making a silly resolution that I won't even be striving to keep by March. If I didn't work out faithfully in 2016, a new year won't change that. If I didn't save ten million dollars, eat less burgers, and gain a six pack in 2016, the new year won't change that either. 

Why do we put these expectations on ourselves? Sitting and waiting for January first to do everything that we could've been doing anyway? I'm taking on improving my life and lifestyle one day at a time!

The secret to mastering the goals that you have set for yourself is to take baby steps and remain
consistent. Let's say you want to lose weight, instead of waiting until the New Year and starving yourself by replacing every meal with a salad, start slowly today! 

Instead of waiting until the new year and depriving yourself of that handbag or cologne you've been dying to purchase, start small today. Open a savings account, and put away $20 a check and watch that account grow! 

Starting small instead of going cold turkey to honor the New Year tradition is a game changer folks.

I'm changing the game

A personal goal of mine is living fearless! I want to take more risk, and trust that if I fail or succeed God will use my victory, or loss for his and my good. Instead of me hawking over the calendar waiting to become this fierce daredevil, I've been taking steps for the last few months to achieve my goal. 

I am no longer pressuring myself to come up with a New Year resolution, just because it's a "tradition." I'm taking my life goals and setting them NOW

So, let's say GOODBYE to that useless pressure and short lived excitement, and let's be all that we can be starting today! 

If you dare to be a rule breaker, join me on this new wave. I would love to hear some of your RIGHT NOW resolutions in the comments below. 



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