How I Homeschool, Work From Home and Still Stay Fit

How can a very busy mom find time to stay fit and healthy? Learn how a homeschool, work at home mom fits it all in. Well, sort of.

Homeschooling and working from home each by themselves are enormous tasks. How about adding in staying fit?

They require a lot of time and mental capacity from me. It requires that I am organized and manage my time {somewhat} well. (Let’s face it, no one is perfect!)

So how do I squeeze in working out 5-6 days per week on top of homeschooling and working from home without neglecting something?

It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.

The Struggle is Real

I love being home. I am a homebody through and through.

And the truth is, I often wrestle with going to the gym. I wrestle with guilt, with duty, with there always being something else to do.

Homeschooling takes a solid 3-4 hours per day, at least. Working from home is another 3-4 hours per day. Already I’m at 6-8 hours required of me. Let’s count that as my “full-time job”. But it doesn’t stop there.

I have weekly staff meetings at my church and a weekly homeschool co-op. That’s about 7 hours per week.

There is cooking. There is cleaning. There is laundry. There is parenting in between it all. There is shuttling children to different activities. The minutes and hours add up so quickly. And all of it is important. All of it is priority.

And despite what my mind wants to convince me of — the gym is a priority as well. Without my time in the gym, the other priorities don’t go quite as smoothly. Not to mention my attitude can go downhill without the “happy drug” {endorphins}.

When All of Life Feels Urgent

I struggle with taking time to go to the gym sometimes because I often believe there are more urgent things I need to be doing. And there are only so many hours in the day!

  • My office is a wreck.

  • My laundry remains sitting unfolded in a basket since yesterday.

  • I need to focus on a work-related project

  • My children are fighting too much today

  • I spent an additional 3 hours helping certain children with math

And yes, these things need to happen. But neglecting my health shouldn’t be the way to make it happen. In addition, the more days I miss going to the gym, the harder it is to get back there. I will just continue to justify why I can’t go.

The struggle is real.

Staying Aware of My Self-Talk

My self-talk is a large key to what I can accomplish. If I tell myself I can do something, I’m more likely to believe myself and take the steps to make it happen. But if I continuously tell myself “I can’t…”, then I won’t. I’ll somehow convince myself I can’t accomplish something.

Our thoughts have a powerful influence over us. This is why it’s so crucial to speak life! It’s not necessarily about “positive thinking” your way into something. Instead, it’s telling yourself the truth.

I also like the idea of aiming high. I like to aim for 5-6 days a week, because even when I can’t get to the gym that many days, I’m at least attempting to. This will at least put me in the gym 3-4 days on those weeks I’m super busy, which to me is still acceptable.

Make It Work For You

Busy mamas, I get it. I really, really do. It is a constant battle back and forth with choosing the best things. Taking care of our health should be on the list of “best things”. It will help us live a high quality and energetic life . Which to me beats getting through the days grudgingly, with little to no energy, and feeling yuck most days. Not to mention all the health issues I’ll be fighting off by staying fit and eating {mostly} well.

christin slade weightlifting

You don’t need to leave the house to workout. Do something you love so you don’t dread it. Personally, I love weightlifting and don’t love cardio. So, I head to the gym to pound some weights. I come home and my children can see the difference in my mood and energy levels. The comparison to the days I don’t go to the gym are night and day.

You don’t need to workout 6 days a week. Start with 1 or 2 and work your way up to a number that works for you.

It’s Not Perfect

The way I fit it in is I tell myself all the reasons I need to go. I remind myself why I go and how I feel when I don’t. Sometimes that means the laundry waits or someone else does it. My family is 100% supportive of my health & fitness goals so they help me reach them when I need it—often offering to do what I have to let go of.

It’s not a 100% perfect by any means. Like today, getting through math with 3 of my children alone has taken over 3 hours. It’s 3:24 PM and I have not gotten to the gym. {I was supposed to be up at 4:45 AM to go, but I didn’t sleep well last night, so I snoozed my alarm}. This is just reality. So I’m still figuring out if there is a way to make it to the gym some time before today is over.

Some days the laundry and emotional needs of my kids take priority and other days the mental health of their mother takes priority.

That’s just the way it goes. But I don’t give up. If I don’t make it, I try again the next day.

Never quit trying.

For His Glory,

Christin

Christians Aren't Called to Live a Tidy Life

Living a holy life is very different from living a tidy life. Life is bound to throw us some curve balls.

Ten—even five years ago I was the young wife and mom reading all the books and Bible verses on Christian parenting, keeping house, and being the most excellent wife I could be. I’m what you might call a rule-follower; a do-gooder; the “good girl”.

Yet in my 19th year of marriage and 17th year of being a mom, I find myself more desperate for Jesus than ever. While reading books, Scripture and striving to walk in wisdom has equipped me tremendously in my roles, they have not (and could not) save me from the trials that have ensued.

Being a Christian Doesn’t Automatically Erase Your Troubles

Don’t misunderstand, striving to be the best mom and wife and person you can be is not bad—in fact, it is commendable. But doing so won’t solve all your problems or protect you from hardship, heartache, temptation or even sin. Instead it offers us a life that pleases God and helps prevent dire consequences by our own hands. It minimizes the amount of troubles and negative consequences brought on by our own hand. But it doesn’t eliminate them.

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
~Proverbs 14:1 (NLT)

I wholeheartedly believe in serving our families and loving them well because that’s what God calls us to do. But what happens when this looks different then we imagined? In fact, what if our very ideas of what loving our family looks like are a far cry from reality? What if loving someone isn’t supposed to be done on our terms?

Living a holy life is very different from living a tidy life. Life is bound to throw us some curve balls. These are the moments that refine us…like gold in the fire, God is removing the dross so that we can shine. But that can’t be done without going through the fire, first.

Love is Messy Because People are Messy

Loving people can get messy. Because love is not self-seeking. And people are messy. We just are. We all bring a different story, experience, and even genetics to the mix that make us who we are. But that isn’t the end of the story. God continues to mold and refine us when we let Him. And He works on us all at different paces.

Maybe you’re dealing with depression or have a loved one who is depressed. Maybe you find yourself in a destructive relationship. Maybe you have adopted children who are super challenging. Maybe you are living with a chronic illness (or with a loved one who has chronic illness or injury). I mean really, the list is endless with ailments lovers of Jesus can go through.

Christianity is Not a Cure for Trials

Being a Christian does not exempt us from such trials. And being a Christian, we ought to have compassion on one another and encourage each other daily. We are supposed to help the body of Christ—our own brothers and sisters in the Lord—when they stumble or are in need. We should not be pushing or turning people away when they come to us for help.

For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
~Matthew 5:45b

Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
~1 Peter 4:12

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
~1 Thessalonians 5:11

Christians are supposed to look different than the world, not superior to it. ~Christin Slade

My encouragement to you today friends is this:

If you think your life is a mess, it’s not tidy, it doesn’t look like the “ideal Christian life”, take heart. There is no ideal Christian life. Yes, we can (and should) put our best foot forward. But we shouldn’t hide behind this mask of the ideal Christian when life is not ideal. The only ideal is loving and following Christ with your whole heart. Our circumstances do not define us or how well we love or serve God. But how we respond to those circumstances is what speaks the love of Christ, not only to the world, but to those around us.

And when we do make mistakes, are we owning our mistakes…our sin, and doing what’s necessary to make it right? Are we forgiving those who have hurt us or sinned against us, even in the deepest, most hurtful ways? These are the messes I’m referring to. Forgiving may not mean reconciling, but forgiveness releases us from a prison of our own making.

What I’m Not Saying

I’m not talking about the kind of messes we’re in because we’re lazy Christians, doing whatever we desire and are not striving to love Christ with all we are. I’m talking about the messes that come even WHILE we’re loving Christ with all that we are. Even when we stumble because we deceived ourselves but have come to repentance. We all fall into sin…some with greater natural consequences than others. Some (like addictions) with ongoing consequences.

There is no one way a Christian is supposed to look or “appear”. Are we to be set apart? Absolutely!

We are supposed to look different than the world, not superior to it.

We’re called to have compassion on people and love even our enemies. That’s what sets us apart. We’re supposed to avoid evil, but we don’t always do that. So when we find ourselves ensnared, we need to do what needs to be done to get out. And then work through those consequences—-which can be messy.

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This is true if we are on the receiving end of the one who’s doing the hurting. It’s messy. It’s gritty. It’s raw. But it’s real.

I won’t pretend to have all the answers and you don’t have to either.

We’re commanded to love God with everything we are.

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'
~Mark 12:30

And we’re commanded to love others as we love ourselves.

The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."
~Mark 12:31

God never said it would be easy, tidy, neat or exclusive. He simply commanded we love.

For His Glory,

Christin
ChristinSlade.com

When You Are Just Overwhelmed By Life

I know we’ve all been there at one time or another. And the last thing I want right now is for this to be another cliche’ piece on just stepping back and taking a breath. Or remembering “God’s got this”. 

How do you cope when it feels like everything is caving in on you? When You Are Just Overwhelmed By Life.png

I know this. You know this. So what is there beyond that? Does ignoring the overwhelm make it go away? What is there when life moves at the speed of light and there is no slowing down? What if things are painful inside your family life because there are hurting, broken people involved? People who have carried brokenness with them their entire lives because they didn’t know what to do with it other than stuff it? And then your dog dies. 

This is my reality right now. Maybe you've been there?

How do you cope when it feels like everything is caving in on you? Here are some things I learned over the last few months.

Here are 3 things you should do:

Talk to a Trusted Friend

I can’t stress enough just how helpful and necessary this is. We were made for community. God created us for fellowship and to carry one another's burdens and sometimes that can be as simple as talking those burdens through with a friend. Maybe they can't solve your problems for you, but they can listen and point you in the right direction. They can offer you encouragement and hope for your situation.

I'll be the first to admit, I struggled talking to people about my problems. I didn't want to be a burden on people with my own burdens. But you know what I found? Those closest to me were happy to listen and eager to help. There was not even a hint that I was a burden--but I had to step out and take that risk before I would know.

Talk to God

Don't underestimate the power of spilling your heart to God. It's in these moments when He offers us peace and clarity when all we feel is muddled and lost. I've found the best way for me to get my thoughts out is to journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. You just need to be able to release to God whatever it is that is weighing you down. If you're not great with physically writing, open up a document on your computer and type it up. 

Write down everything you're feeling with no reservations. No one will see this except you and God (and if you want to delete it or shred it when you're done, that's fine, too!) 

Speak Truth Into Your Situation

Sometimes our circumstances can really feel bleak and leave us deflated. Sometimes we hate ourselves for getting into the mess in the first place or believe that everything that lead us to where we are is completely our fault. Chances are that's not entirely true. 

While we certainly are responsible for our own actions, there are some situations that can just knock us down and it takes us a while to get back on our feet. That doesn't make us failures or losers or less than. 

He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
— Matthew 5:45

God is not punishing you. God is not angry with you. God does not have it out for you. 

When we find ourselves at the bottom, we can choose to sit there and pout or we can allow God, our trusted friends, and the Truth God speaks to us to help pull us out. We never have to walk these valleys alone. Stay in the Word and learn what He says and believe that over what you tell yourself.

 

Here are 3 things you shouldn't do:

Wallow in Self-Pity

It's not hard to feel sorry for ourselves or our situations...especially when we have a hard time rising above them. Seems any time we make any headway, something else knocks us to the ground. It can get discouraging after a while! It can seem like we are just not meant to get up so we can catch up, let alone get ahead. 

It's so important we distinguish between what the world says about us (based on success, reputation, appearance, etc) and what God says about us. We tend to lean more toward who the world says we are rather than our very Creator. God values us above the world. Who He says we are is all that matters!

Wallowing in self-pity will only add further destruction to your situation. It will only cause you to sink lower and lower into your self and all you think you've failed to accomplish or protect yourself from. There is a danger here of seeing yourself as a victim of your own circumstances...and while that may be true, it's not a place you want to linger for long. 

Solutions cannot be found in this place. 

Blame others

Sometimes it's difficult to take responsibility for our own lives, especially when we've been wronged, hurt, or were dealt "a bad hand" in life. Some circumstances really are out of our control. But we can control how we move forward from there (or whether we do). We cannot blame others for not rising above our circumstances because we all have the opportunity to be more than we are. 

Stay Where You Are

We are more than our circumstances but if we refuse to budge because we continue to drown in our own self-pity, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If you want to change your circumstances, you absolutely cannot stay where you are. If what you are doing isn't working, it's time to change things up and try something new.  But whatever you do, don't stay where you are. Don't remain in a "victim state". Don't complain and not act. Take responsibility for your life and fight for it. 

I know life can knock us down at times. The issues can be sudden and temporary or longstanding and constant. Don't let life control you... take control of your life when circumstances knock you down! Rise above it and come out stronger because of it!

For His Glory,

Christin