Archive for the ‘Hands Free Mama’ Category.

5 ways to help you “be IN the moment” with your kids!

Being IN the moment is something I struggle with, but am diligently working on.  “Struggle with” is putting it mildly.  True confession time (cringe…I’m going to take a deep breath and share this because I know I’m not the only one!):  My struggle with anxiety and borderline OCD is intense enough to need medication.  My wise doctor made me go to counseling for it, too.

I also know I’m not the only parent that has the magnetic pull to look at the smart phone or who feels the often overwhelming burden of a never-ending to-do list.    So, let’s look at some techniques and Scripture we can use to combat that.

At first glance, some of these may seem simple and easily dismissible.
However, as with most things in life, they are easier said than done.
These are some of the helpful things I’ve learned…

1.  Stop and take deep breaths, several times a day.

“Be still and know that I am God.”
  Psalm 46:10

2.  Take a few minutes each day to free yourself from all distraction and clear your head. 
This can look different for everyone, depending on what’s most helpful for you.  For me, one of my “refreshments” is walking my dogs. The fresh air does me good and it reminds me that there’s a world outside all the other things I’m trying to get done.  It is a fight to keep from immediately turning on the podcasts I love listening to during the walks.  But, I make myself spend at least the first few minutes taking those deep breaths and just clearing my head.  Sometimes, I enjoy using the rest of the walk lifting things up to the Lord in prayer as they pop into my mind.   When I don’t have as much time, I find that even a few minutes on my patio accomplishes the same thing.  What’s your refreshment?

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”   Matthew 6:26-27

3.  Be conscious of being IN the moment. 
The beauty is in the simplicity of this.  Whenever I am feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or distracted, I remind myself to take another deep break and enjoy the moment I’m IN!  Even though it seems so obvious, this is a newer technique for me and is truly helping decrease my stress level and increasing joy in life.

This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24
(To me, this is the Biblical version of “stop and smell the roses.”)

4.  Stay off the smart phone as much as possible.
I was going to write, “Stay off the smart phone when others are around” but broadened it because of how I’ve seen my phone to distract my brain in general.    Not being glued to our phone makes it easy to appreciate the bigger moments with our kids.  However, when my kids are all grown up, I don’t want to regret that I didn’t make effort to enjoy the little moments too.

I am a work in progress with this one.  It truly is a battle for me as I can tend to be OCD with checking e-mail, FB, weather, news, etc. on my phone.  NOT the example I want to be for my kids nor a good habit for my already too distracted brain!  A resource that I’ve been working my way through that is convicting, incredibly practical, and helping me along this journey is Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!  by Rachel Stafford.  Dads, a mom may have written it, but we can all learn from her realizations, truths, and tips!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

I will not be mastered by anything.  1 Corinthians 6:12b

5.  Claim a helpful Scriptures!
I confess that distraction and stress are weakness of mine as I remember and draw from the power of these verses in this post.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

What’s your best technique for remembering to be “in the moment” with your kids?


Don’t forget to turn to your copy of
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments
when different issues pop up!
Most of the verses from today are in there under a variety of topics!



Comments Off on 5 ways to help you “be IN the moment” with your kids!   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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This New Year, how are you going to start your day as Mom or Dad?

2014 has been a year of conviction and changes for me as a parent.

As my kids get older, I am growing ever more conscious of the example I am setting for them, particularly in the area of my phone.   I’m not just talking about while driving, during dinner or family time, or while helping them with homework.  Those are all real concerns for sure.

However, what hit me the hardest was how my cell phone was negatively impacting the start of my day.
How easy it is to turn off the alarm on my phone and start checking e-mail and Facebook.

Before I knew it, I was running late for my day and in a grumpy mood because of all the things that had bombarded me before I even got out of bed! 

Anyone with me?

I had always used the excuse of not being a morning person to put off my devotional time until later in the day.  Yet, here I was, regularly devoting a good 15 minutes to a small rectangular metal box.
And we mock those days-of-old idol worshippers!


When discussing electronic limits for our kids, a friend of mine shared that they have a non-electronic rule for the first hour they are awake.  What a wise pattern to establish that will serve her children well both now and later!

It was important for her to explain to them (and sometimes still remind them), that the reason for this family guideline isn’t that she’s just a “mean” mom restricting their fun!  Rather, it’s to help them remember the principle of

This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Hmmmm…we just read the words “rejoice” and “glad,” didn’t we? 
Sounds like fun to me…And it is!
Starting the day out with God’s Word and talking with Him is uplifting, encouraging, empowering, and a blessing….pretty much everything my previous routine of e-mail and Facebook is NOT!

So, fellow parents, as we think about this coming year, let’s consider how our daily patterns are impacting our lives and our children’s.   For me, that means more of putting down the iPhone after turning off the alarm and picking up my Bible.  

How about you?

A resource that has greatly helped my OCD self is Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!   Anyone else feel like the author had you in mind with that subtitle?  I enjoyed taking my time on this book, only reading a chapter a week.  That helped the principles soak in and give me time to practice before moving on.

Disclaimer:  Since this goes to such a broad audience and many of y’all don’t know me personally, I feel it’s important to add a couple of points.  While I share what I regularly strive for, I am not legalistic about any of this.  Some days I have to check my e-mail first thing.  Some days (and pretty much every Saturday morning) the tv comes on first thing for the kids.  Some days I enjoy putting off my time with Lord because I know I have a great window of time later in the day.  Some days I regretfully don’t make time for the Lord.  You get the idea.  Life happens.  This blog is always supposed to be non-guilt and non-ritualism inducing from an imperfect parent (me!) who enjoys sharing what she’s learned with others (you!) in hopes that it helps in some way!  To God be the glory if it does!


Looking for a new way to get in the Word with your kids this year?
Or, want a way to pray for your kids about specific issues using God’s Word?
Consider Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments  as a topical family devotional guide or topical parenting prayer guide.

3   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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