10 free {or cheap} ways for a weary mom to find rest

I'm a weary mom.

So weary that I wrote a smallish book about it with Stacey Thacker that seems to be resonating deeply with the hearts of mamas all over the world.

#WearyMom

The point of Hope for the Weary Mom is to help mamas point their eyes and hearts to Christ. Because as much as we sometimes want God to remove us from our mess, more often He just gets in it with us.

Lifting our heads, giving us strength, helping us put one foot in front of the other as we slosh our way through it. 

But it is nice to have some practical tools in our back pocket for those days that just seem out of control. What's a weary mom to do to find some rest in the midst of the crazy?

#SurprisedByLife

Here are ten free (or really cheap) things that bring this weary mom rest.

1. Prayer. Yeah...I wrote a book about that too. And it might seem cheesy, but connecting my heart with God on a regular basis helps me maintain His eternal perspective when it's all too easy for me to lose mine. The only thing this'll cost you is time.

2. Reading the story of King David (again). The story of David never ceases to remind me that no matter how many times I mess up, I serve a God who redeems. I'm living in His story, not the other way around. Find it starting in 1 Samuel 16.

3. Allow your children to experience the beauty of quiet time. Even the older ones. Reading for an hour each day might just save your sanity, and providing your kiddos with enough quality books to keep their attention is as easy as a library visit. We bought our boys iPod Nano's for their birthdays this year because they're too young to read on their own. But they LOVE audio books. Nano is great because there are no games and no way to access the internet. (AND we control what they listen to...see the bottom of this post for a great list of music for your kiddos).

4. Turn on the music. Seems simple, doesn't it? But it's amazing how often I forget that choosing to praise God through song (whether I feel like it or not) has the power to totally transform my heart. (See the bottom of this post for some of my favorite worship music).

5. Take a walk...alone. My husband is wonderful about letting me have this time when our schedule allows it.  I like to walk during golden hour (morning or evening) and strap on my big girl camera for the ride. It's a double blessing for me because exercising cleanses my mind and making beautiful photos...well...that's the next tip.

6. Make beautiful photos. Take your camera with you everywhere you go. Be one of those crazy light chasers who isn't afraid to pull over for a great shot. Make your children bend down to look at the beauty of God's creation and document it as you go. It's simply astounding how capturing the beautiful moments of my life brings me joy and peace.

7. Create a mini spa at home. Here's a great post about using a hot towel to scrub away your stress. Add a little aromatherapy and you'll have your own weary mama retreat!

8. Invest in things that make you say "ahhhhhh." For me, it's a cup of smooth, strong Joe after we get the boys to bed. Maybe you love tea, or maybe a glass of milk at night makes you slow down and close your eyes in bliss. Whatever it is that puts a smile on your face, indulge in it...every day. Do little things to bring joy to your heart.

9. Light a candle. There's just something about a flickering candle and a lovely aroma that brings me joy. Pick your favorite scent and savor it when life gets too tough.

10. Get up crazy early to read the Word. Spend 30 minutes hiding God's Word in your heart at 3:30 in the morning. Then go back to bed and wake up when your kids get up. There's no other thing you can do that will bring you as much peace as getting in to the Bible. Not even eating healthy...and really...that should be on this list somewhere (but I am who I am, yeah?). Even if you don't like the crazy early idea (I affectionately refer to it as "obscene-thirty"), still make time for your relationship with God. Somehow. Here's a post I wrote on establishing a consistent quiet time to help you figure it out.

Question: What would you add to this list?

Quiet Time Resources

Slug and Bugs and Lullaby's 

Walking with the Wise

To Be Like Jesus

Yancy

Songs for Saplings

Jonathan Park 

Adventures in Odyssey

Music from Vacation Bible Schools Past (one of my kiddo's all-time favorites!)

Great Worship Music

You Deliver Me (Selah)

Into the Glorious (Christy Nockels)

David Nevue (Solo Piano)

Frame the Clouds (Christa Wells)