No Means Yes

I have a major case of FOMO. My college years consisted of jam packed schedules with multiple jobs and events. Cleaning jobs, babysitting jobs, a retail position, serving at my church, fun get togethers with friends…I barely stopped to take a breath.

I graduated college, began my career as an Elementary teacher, and got married all within a years time. My itinerary the first few years of teaching consisted of multiple week night commitments, my Saturday filled with homeless ministry and a standing dinner. This was in addition to navigating the balance of grading papers, testing, and all the balls teachers juggle.

Then a good friend recommended the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. This book was life changing for me.

Fast forward a few years and I entered the beautiful challenging world of motherhood.

I was not aware of all the opportunities available for babies…music class, story time, gym class. The numerous supplements granola mommy bloggers said my kids had to have: cod liver oil, probiotics, multivitamins. The need for community as a mom, and the diverse ways I could seek this out: bible studies, life groups, MOPs. The multiple invites to play dates. The family get togethers.

I struggled to say no because I struggled with the fear of missing out.

One thing I’ve discovered over time is that sometimes saying no is really saying yes.

When I choose to say no to a family dinner at 7:00 pm, I am choosing to say yes to my children’s need for sleep. I am saying yes to our routine and the peace that results in babies that are well rested.

When I say no to an 8 hour church event on a Saturday, I am choosing to say yes to our family time. Family time that is so rare and precious with a Daddy who works so hard to support our family Monday through Friday.

When I say no to filling my shopping cart with those extra want-not-need items at the grocery store, or no to eating out, I am choosing to say yes to our budget. I am being a good steward of the resources made available to me.

My no, and my yes, will look different in various seasons. They will vary from other mamas.

For so long, I’ve focused on the no but I want to focus on what I’m saying yes to. Yes to putting God first and family second. Yes to intentional family time and Sabbath. Yes to financial freedom.

What are you saying yes to, Mama?

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Confident for the Kingdom

“Well (insert classmate’s name here) didn’t raise his hand in school today. Even though he’s four I know more than him because I always raise my hand in school. AND I’ve been to school two times.”    -Aiden Jo, four years old, after his third day of VPK.

One thing my son does not lack is good self esteem. I’m not quite sure if he was born that way, OR if all the words of affirmation he’s received over the course of his life have helped shape him to be the confident young man he is.

His above statement led into a conversation of how we all might forget things every now and then. I gently reminded my son that he forgot which table to sit at that morning when he first walked into school.

This Mama is a firm believer in humility. After all, Michah 6:8 calls us to “do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly.” The Bible is full of verses on the art of being humble. And let’s be real, no one likes a braggart.

We often have to give our sure-of-himself-son a dose of reality. For example, one day he stated that he was a better piano player than his daddy. His Daddy who was classically trained in piano for 15 years. Aiden is very passionate about music, but hasn’t quite caught up to his Daddy on this one, yet.

As parents, we exemplify humility to our children. Yet, we also strive to raise children to be confident in who God created them to be. This will result in them becomming kingdom movers and shakers

What if our children didn’t suffer from pride or false humility, but went through life fearless, hopeful, and courageous? What if they were bold in their gifts and talents, not second-guessing themselves or comparing their abilities to others?

As Mamas, let’s practice encouragement. Build up your child with your words. Call them into greatness.

I don’t know about you, but I desire to raise children that are confident for the Kingdom.

How do you build your child’s confidence, Mama? What gifts and talents do you see in them at an early age?

Saturday at the Simke’s

I love, love, love SATURDAYS! Mostly because it’s time for I, my Babes, and our kids to just be present and enjoy each other’s presence. We aren’t rushing through breakfast, hurriedly getting dressed, and dashing to the car.

On Saturdays, we take it easy.

On Saturdays, we usually do a variety of the same things.

We typically we make a big breakfast. Today’s menu included yummy vegan blueberry pancakes.

An active outdoor family outing is also included in our Sabbath regime.

Last weekend we did our first family run/bike ride/carriage ride. I am so proud of my Aiden Jo for riding his bike 3 miles! What a champ. Lil enjoyed lounging as she cruised along.


Most summer weekends include swimming at the pool.


All Saturdays include naps. Ahhhh naps. During Lil’s nap time today, Daddy and I fell asleep on the couch while Aiden played in his room quietly.

Our family is very musical. I happen to have the talent of music appreciation, while Babes and the kiddos jam. We enjoy worshipping together. Today’s band attire was simply bottoms…with lots of laundry on stage.


We read a LOT on Saturdays (and every day). This is my personal favorite way to unwind, and the love has passed along to both my children.


Good food is a must for our foodie family. This Saturday’s lunch was leftover lentil soup and a Vega/açai smoothie. Chipotle for dinner, to be followed by the best vegan cookies ever.

My favorite way to end a Saturday is on the couch chatting with my Babes.

How do you and your family like to spend your Saturdays, Mama?