How To Find Refreshment In The Middle of Summer

Think back to what summer was like before you had kids. Do you remember the glory of it? The late start to the day. Creating your own schedule. Taking actual vacations? (Because let’s be honest, a day at the beach with kids is not really a vacation. It’s more like an episode of Baywatch minus the swimsuit body.)

Summers used to be about recharging. Taking time off from the daily grind in order to come back refreshed. I think the people who need refreshment the most are parents, yet it’s sometimes most difficult for parents to find it. Instead, you find yourself just trying to hold on to your sanity as you try to figure out how to entertain your kids now that they’re out of school. You become a constant referee in sibling warfare and get lost in a never-ending state of laundry (how do they wear so many clothes)? And if you hear the theme song to a Disney show one more time, you may lock yourself in a closet.

As parents, you have less of most things—time, money and ability. But just because you have less time, money and ability to find refreshment like you once did before kids doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.

Summer comes and goes quickly. And much like a hurricane, your emotional, spiritual and relational state of being can be tossed around and left in a state of destruction by the time school starts again.

That’s why its important to think about how to safeguard your soul for the storms of summer. Think about one thing you can do in the coming days and weeks left of summer to help refresh yourself. It’s easy to talk about needing to be refreshed, but it’s difficult to actually do something about it...

Click here to continue reading and hear my challenge to you for finding refreshment during the heat of summer.

Broken Crayons Still Color

I had the privilege of being on the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast with Shelley Hitz to talk about how God uses the things that are broken in our lives for His good and His glory. I shared my story of learning to find contentment with who God made me to be. “We have to retrain our mind and just kind of relearn and replace the lies that we tend to believe with truth. I had to practice that, because of Jesus I am accepted, I am made holy, and I am dearly loved. That is the same for all of us. So I would encourage everyone to just practice being content to be you, and sometimes that practice looks like being thankful, just writing down three things today that I’m thankful for about my body. I’m going to change the way that I think about myself, and that comes through practicing gratitude, practicing putting truth in our hearts, and practicing today walking as if I am someone who is loved, made holy, and accepted.”

To listen to the show or read the transcript from the podcast, click here.

While You're Weekending


Hey there, friends. I hope you're having a relaxing weekend. I just dropped my two off with the grandparents so an afternoon alone is all the therapy that I needed. I'm a firm believer that Starbucks + alone time can cure just about anything. 

As you are weekending, I wanted to share a few things with you. I had the privilege to share parts of my story with two different blogs this week. I am always extremely honored when asked to share.

Charlotte Peters asked me awhile back to participate in her survival series. I talk about how to find strength in the darkest moments, what it means to me to survive and my greatest achievement. "For me, finding my voice in each season of life has been a great achievement. My voice looked different when I was in my twenties and single than it does now that I’m nearly 40, married with kids. The greatest achievement though was finding my voice again after it had been lost for nearly 4 years. After it had been crushed by others. Walking through the darkness of wondering if I’d ever contribute to the world again in the ways in which I enjoy was frightening and paralyzing. But starting my podcast, Surviving Sarah, has brought such a sense of excitement and refreshment knowing that I have found my voice and I can use my voice in a way to help other women be encouraged, inspired and entertained to survive in their own lives."

To read the interview, click here.

Then, I recorded an episode of Broken Crayons Still Color with Shelley Hitz about learning how to find contentment with who God made me to be. I start by telling how I discovered my imperfect body, the lowest point for my struggle, the turning point and my advice for anyone in a similar place.

Finally, if you are having a sad day, let me tell you what works for me (besides Starbucks). The other night was a rough one. So many fights happening in the house that by the time the kids got in bed, I was spent. I was upset and angry. And I knew exactly what I needed. Watch this and I promise you will smile the whole time. (And if you are not a Bruno Mars fan, then I've got nothing for you....hahaha)

And while I'm talking Bruno Mars. His latest album has a song called Perm on it. Y'all, it makes me laugh and I want to say the tagline to my girls and myself all the time: "Throw some perm on that attitude. Girl, you gotta relax." That is my weekend benediction for you.

Helping Your Child Deal With Anger

It was no less than one minute from shutting the car door to go home from school that Sinclair asked to play with the neighbors while her sister went to gymnastics. I told her that before I would ask Miss Courtney, she would need to complete her homework. My response didn’t seem insane or earth shattering, but apparently what she heard was enough to invoke the type of response that Jesus likely felt when He walked in the temple that day and overturned the tables. She yelled at me and kicked the seat in front of her. She threw her shoe at me while driving. (Note to self: make sure to not keep weapons like umbrellas, shoes or books in the car.) Then, as I calmly yet sternly told her that was an unacceptable response and what the consequence was, she unbuckled her seatbelt and stood up in the car fire burning from her head much like the anger character in Inside Out. With righteous indignation, she stood for all that was wrong in this world—at least in her world. She was so discriminated against. (Cue eye roll) 

Has something like that ever happened to your kid? Do they struggle to manage their emotions? My child is like a volcano who can erupt any second. She can go from dormant to eruption within seconds. Her emotions change much like the weather. Sometimes she throws things. Sometimes she yells the meanest words that an eight year old can think of. Sometimes she slams doors. Sometimes she sticks her tongue out in my face. Maybe your kid reacts the same way. Maybe you wonder why she’s so angry. You wonder where she picked up the behavior. You don’t feel particularly angry. You don’t throw something at the barista who got your order wrong. You don’t call the driver who cut you off a “stupid head” (or maybe you do, oops.) You don’t stick your tongue out at your husband when he disagrees with you. 

So what do you do when your child struggles with anger? I’ve always been particularly honest with you whether here in written word or on my podcast about my struggles. I struggle with anger in parenting. I interviewed Wendy Speake about her book Triggers (you can listen here) and it was such good content for me. I have different internal and external things that trigger my anger towards my kids.

And that conversation got me thinking about my kids. If I’m not really an angry person but I can be triggered, then so can my kids. We all have the potential to be triggered. So when Corine Hyman contacted me about her children’s book on anger--Teaching Christ’s Children About Feeling Angry--I was excited to read it.

I read it with my eight year old one night and she loved it. Something that we have worked on is not saying that the emotion is bad. I have not done a good job with this in the past. I am not a super emotional person so parenting a child with high emotions is difficult for me. So, one of my constant prayers is, “Lord, help me to remember that different doesn’t make someone better than or less than.” Just because I am not emotional doesn’t make me better than my emotional child. When Sinclair has recovered from her outburst or when I tuck her in a night, I sometimes talk about how good it is that God created her feelings. That one day, you are going to be someone who feels what others feel and that is a good thing.

As we read the book together, we talked about ways that she struggles with anger--when her sister teases her, when she doesn’t get what she wants, or when she is disappointed in herself. We talked about how the emotion of anger isn’t always a bad thing. And anger can be an indicator of something going on inside of us which can even be there to help protect us from harm. Part of helping our kids become teenagers and adults is helping them figure out how to manage their frustration, anger and hurt. We need to help them figure out what to do and not do with those feelings. 

I often tell Sinclair that its okay to be upset or frustrated or hurt or angry, but I need her figure out how to manage those feelings. Throwing things or destroying something or yelling hateful words isn’t a good way to deal with it. Every child is different and I’ve learned that with Sinclair music is like magic with her. One time she was so angry at me that she slammed her door. Then yelled at me, “I’M GOING TO LISTEN TO MY MUSIC AS LOUD AS I WANT!!!!!!” Do you know what music she blared on her CD player? A VBS cd full of songs about Jesus. Bless her rebellious heart. I love it so much. And you know what happened? After singing those songs about Jesus for 15 minutes, she came back out a different person—calm and apologetic. She just needed the time and space to recover.

Think about what helps you deal with your frustration. Do you need to go exercise? Do you need to be alone for awhile? Do you need music? Do you need to talk to someone? There are so many different ways to manage our frustration. And the same is true for our children. We need to help them figure out what works for them. 

Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Most days feel like you are doing the same thing over and over. You wake up and repeat. And once you feel like you master one problem, another one usually arrises. I am not a perfect parent. And God is using these girls as the strongest means of sanctification in my life. And I long to help my girls and give them the tools they need to not only survive childhood but to one day be a healthy adult. And learning how to manage anger is one of them.

Interview with International Floor Coverings

Floor Coverings International contacted me and asked if they could interview me about one of my favorite home projects. I was completely honored! Decorating has become one of my favorite creative expressions. We've talked about how we are all creative beings designed to be creative in the past couple of episodes (here and here) on the Surviving Sarah podcast . I've challenged you guys think about your own creative expression. I could get lost in designing a room let alone a whole house! 

Floor Coverings International asked me about why I started the podcast, how I describe my design style, where I find inspiration and our favorite renovation project to date. Hop on over to their blog to read the interview and see pics from the remodel.