What Are Your Hula Hoops? And a Giveaway!

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McCarthy_web (10)

Anyone who mothers ten children, loves the Lord, and reaches out to so many others with love and grace, has so many lessons learned from which all of us can glean wisdom.

I’m thrilled to have my sweet friend, September McCarthy, here with a guest post today! During this busy time of life, I knew that the concept she shares about a hula hoop life would really speak to you as it did to me. I know you’ll enjoy her writing and relate to the thoughts she’s sharing with us–plus we have a fun giveaway for you! ~ Sally


McCarthy Clan

There are nights when I finally lay my head on my pillow and my ears are ringing.  It takes time for my ears to adjust to the quiet.   With days full of children, talking, teaching, music, playing, laughing, children fussing, appliances running, kitchen noise, grocery store visits, and long discussions at night with my husband, a night-time routine seems to take over any grand allusions of rest.

I have to laugh about this.  I am most likely in sensory overload every day, and do not even realize it.

Driving our children to church the other night, I found myself saying this: “We have a 15 minute drive to church, and I would like everyone to have quiet time for our drive there.” Keep in mind we have a 15 passenger van full of our children. Quiet?  I gave many warnings, and the older children worked to keep the younger ones happy and quiet(er).   Seem silly?  Ringing ears bring desperate measures!

I had 15 minutes to come down from busy.  I was preparing my heart for worship and learning, and believe it or not, in those very short 15 minutes, I was dreaming.  I was seeing a vision beyond my daily routine and the season I am in every day.  Realistic, goal-setting dreaming.

Since this is important in my life – to have a time of thinking, dreaming, planning– I have found that sometimes I have to turn off the noise of the world, and tune back in to what really matters.  I need to turn away from the distractions and clutter that might make me feel defeated.

Is there a quiet place in your heart where you keep dreams and pursuits safe for another day?  Your mind might wander there during your daily schedules, thinking of the possibilities you could create if … you only just had…More Time.

When the fog becomes so thick you don’t feel like you can propel through it any more, pull over and give it to God.

If you are a woman with a burden that rests heavy on your heart and mind, please remember this:

YOU matter to God.  He created this hard (and sometimes, noisy) thing called womanhood, and He has equipped us with all we need.  The other things don’t take the front seat like He does.

May I encourage you today to live your dreams in the right seasons of your life?   Many times in our circles, the need to rest is not recognized.  This is a practice that is often neglected –to be still.  I learned this the hard way and perhaps you have as well.

When your days become clouded with noise and your vision and purpose becomes clouded with discouragement, I urge you, my friend, to step back and abide.

Even in the midst of all of the noise that leaves my ears ringing at night, I can hear Him whisper daily to me.  My space has become a quiet reserve for Him.  There is a peace in knowing that the choices I make for Him daily will have an effect for eternity.  He has given me a quiet resolve to be content.

I understand the woman who feels at the mercy of her schedule, and your heart may beat to a different rhythm than your day has planned for you.  You might be asking yourself, “When will life slow down a little?  Will I ever be able to swim into the current of my own passions and desires, rather than feeling like I am swimming upstream against it all?”

Hula Hoop 3D 220May I encourage you to take a little time to read my story here?  I share how I found hope in laying down pursuits that can weigh us down, as we dare to dream and pick up our passions with a new and focused energy – in the right season of our lives.

I compare our extra pursuits and ambitions to hula hoops.  We have to keep them moving in constant motion and if we take time to breathe, they fall.   I dare to dream, but have had to learn the process of balance, flexibility and acceptance to keep a focus on what is truly important.

Friend, can you identify the “extra’s,” you may have chosen to pick up and pursue overflow into a category of exhaustion, confusion, overload, or imbalance?  Can I humbly challenge you to – drop those hula hoops?  Choose your center – and Keep Christ there.

I would love to hear from you.  I can understand those days when your dreams, your pursuits and noise seem to crowd out any chance to think beyond your daily routine.  My book, Hula Hoop Girl, is an easy read, full of hope and my story of imbalance and imperfection…finding hope in balance. Today, Sally is giving away three copies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Written by September, @ One September Day

Author of Hula Hoop Girl



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  1. Jen says

    I usually do ok balancing things from day to to day….but there’s not a lot of margin. When an extra activity, appointment, or responsibility comes up, that’s when I start dropping hula hoops. For example, right now one of my children is sick. That “extra” pushes things over the edge and I realize how close to the margins I operate.

    I’d love to win this book—it sounds great!

  2. says

    I have a tendency to love to “overload” myself and recently, I had to drop some of those bright, shiny Hula Hoops! I have read September’s book 3x and I know what a blessing it is to step back and have Him as my center! God has used September to teach me that it is ok to step back, say no, balance, and abide in Him!

    I also REALLY appreciate her and thank the Lord for this specific advice that she gave me: God, Family, 1 online ministry, and 1 outside the home ministry. That has become my “boundaries” and even though, I would love to take on more…right now, is NOT the time!

  3. Melani says

    I spin hula hoops for my parents. We are still trying to win their approval and it never feels like I can do enough for them and I have more than enough of my own stuff to be doing!

  4. Terri S says

    I seem to constantly be spinning! I have tried to cut back, and some days are better than others. Tuesdays at our house are just a bit crazy, and actually we are out more than in.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to win.

  5. Becca says

    I have almost 4 under 5. They are all still so dependent, but with each one having totally different needs. It’s hard to find balance for anything other than my babes. And even then, at any given timeone of my regular hula hoops will fall.
    I’d love to dive into this book!

  6. sandi says

    I definitely feel like I’m spinning hoops when the children argue. My thought is always, “How could you treat another of God’s creatures that way?” LOL! This sounds like such a great book….

  7. says

    Would love to read more about this! With our fourth on the way (in five years no less!) and starting homeschool this fall, I am sure there is plenty that I could learn!

  8. says

    I have 4 children 8 and under, the older two I homeschool, while their 4 yr old twin sisters also compete for my attention. I also am called upon to help care for my ailing parents. On top of this, I also manage a small photography business/hobby. Some days I feel like I too have too many hula hoops! I would love to read what ou have to share in your book!’n

  9. Lillian Gimmelli says

    My days are always spinning. I have two children, one with autism (13) and my daughter (7). My life is always going and at times I feel like I am hula hooping all day long. I never have time for myself or at times for God and my dreams. And it always seems that when I take a breath and think about my dreams or doing something for myself, my hula hoop crashes to the ground and I need to pick it up again fast. I would be totally blessed to win this book! I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  10. Amy Cooper says

    Those days when I have to work, I have my own school work to do , and I am introducing new concepts to my children in their home school lessons, always seem like the days that the most needs to be done around the house, and inevitably, a million unexpected things will come up.

  11. Cindy says

    I would love to read this book. No day is ever the same in our home, Of course we have anchors in our days, but there are constant unscheduled interruptions that scream for my attention while trying to manage the daily needs of our family and home.

  12. Tara says

    Right now I am spinning more hoops than I ever have. Besides being a wife and mother of three children, I am balancing homeschooling, ministry, and relationships amidst relocating to a new state. My husband started his own business which we are relocating, too. He wants me to be more involved in the administrative end of that. I have so many dreams and goals (writing, speaking, counseling) but I don’t feel any further along in them than I was 5 years ago. I do rest, but usually feel like I just let all the hula hoops drop in a heap, step out of the pile with a sigh of relief, and then stare resentfully at them and not want to pick them back up. I would like to read this book. It looks refreshing.

  13. Jenn says

    I am getting better at saying no, but then feel guilty and still haven’t found the best way to balance everything that needs to be done at home and have time with my two little one’s. I would enjoy this book and reading it with friends.

  14. Darcy Gustafson says

    I am the mothr of ten, and I drive a 15 passenger van too. I feel so bogged down by my schedule, and working for our business. I feel so desperately hopeless! I would LOVE to read your book!

  15. says

    Sadly, the weariness for me does not come from the responsibilities God has given me, but the ones that the church imposes. The “do do do” agenda is a killer!

  16. Mandy says

    Thankfully at this stage in my life, my hula hoops are few. I only have one child, who is 10 weeks old, and have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom. Some days I feel like I am balancing 30 of those hoops you speak of, but most days I only have a couple to worry about. I am thankful that God offers grace for those overwhelming days, and is teaching me to let some things fall, and rest in Him.

    As my dearest daughter grows though, I see many hula hoops waiting to be picked up and starting to spin as I have more things to teach her, as homeschooling will begin, and as our family will grow in numbers, Lord willing. I would love to learn now how to deal with the stress and find balance in my life before it gets crazy!

  17. Christina burrell says

    My hula hoops fly wildly on busy weeks where I over commit and try and do instead of just “be present” with my family.

  18. Heather says

    Sounds like a wonderful read! Without immediate family support, 3 little ones, food allergy cooking and homeschooling-my plate sometimes seems beyond full. Would love some insight!

  19. Kerri says

    Thank you. God has been speaking to me…and lately shouting at me that my doing “good” things is keeping me from the “best” that He has for me. Thank you.

  20. Jill D says

    Trying to balance family, homeschool and ministry isn’t easy. So thankful for God promise that He’s always with me!

  21. says

    Everything in my life are hula hoops! I am a homeschooling mother of 8, soon to be 9 in April. This pregnancy has been the hardest, and I feel like the hula hoops don’t even get off the ground lately :)

  22. Tracye G says

    My hula hoops are constantly spinning, though I’ve greatly reduced the number with finally saying “no” to many things. As a homeschool mother from ages 6 to 15, active in ministry, committed to husband first, and childcare provider of two one year olds…the hoops take delicate balance to keep going!

  23. Maria S. says

    Trying to find balance in each season of life is what I find challenging, especially when life doesn’t behave. This sounds like a wonderful book!

  24. Emily Smith says

    When I’m trying to ‘herd cats’ out the door. I’ve yet to master the art of getting everyone out the door without completely wanting to blow my top.

  25. Lisa says

    Busy days full of caring for children, toddlers and a baby while helping my husband, homeschooling and managing the household sometimes leave me exhausted. God is my strength!

  26. Kristen says

    The exact passage in Matthew has been the one God has placed on my heart. I know I am in a busy season and I have lived my life with too many Hulu hoops and no margin. I tend to one extreme or the other and so right now the prayer of my heart is balance and REST. I was just beginning Mark Buchanan’s book The Rest of God because it is a topic The Lord is placing on my heart so heavily. Even my 7yr old came to m and said “Mom, God tells us to have a day of rest, can we do that?”

  27. Amanda says

    Being still is a practice that our American culture and many Christian cultures don’t value, foolishly. I related to your story in the van – sometimes we just crave that quiet!

    Love your hula hoop picture. Whenever I try to add in an extra hoop, if it doesn’t fit in the season I’m in, all the hoops start falling down. It feels frustrating, sometimes, especially if its a hoop I think “should” be in my life. But there really are only a few that are needful. :-)

  28. says

    I don’t have any children, but my hula hoops are work, writing and blogging, and finding time to cultivate my marriage. Add in 10 children….ok, I can’t even imagine that! :)

  29. Erica says

    Wow! What an incredible woman and post for today. Would love a copy of this book, even though I only have 3 little ones, my husband has started his own business, money is tight, and I feel like I am jugging many hoola hoops all the time. Thank-you for your ministry and the great encouragement here.

  30. Lorene says

    I am finding when I have to leave the house with the kids multiple times in a day that is when things get the craziest. Trying to remember there are seasons and focus on what is most important.

  31. Karen M says

    I frequently feel like things are spinning out of control… Dogs barking, babies crying, dirty dishes, you all know what I’m talking about! :) I’d love to win a copy of September’s book! Thanks for sharing her story and giveaway!

  32. Allison says

    Tired doesn’t quite cover it lately. This spoke to my heart in so many ways. Although there is nothing left to lay down (I already did that.), there is still so much, but God….in His awesome power and calmness. He can calm any raging storm and today I am letting Him do just that. :)

  33. Darcey says

    I have 4 kids, twin 8 year olds, a strong willed 6 year old and a 19 month old. I feel most stressed when the kids get home from school. They need to get their homework and chores done, are tired of sitting all day and then for 40 minutes on the bus, the baby wants me to hold her, I need to get dinner started and my strong willed son is running around the house screaming.

  34. says

    Whenever I schedule too much outside of the home things most often unravel for me. There are so many great options out there and I’m still learning that our best days are the ones at home without the chaos of getting 5 kids out the door!

  35. rhonda says

    When I have to do too much I get sstressed and feel like I am trying to keep a ton of hoops up off the floor…I find peace when I simply just give myself permission to let some hoops go! :)

  36. says

    At the start of everyday. My children are very young and wake up with such URGENCY… must eat NOW, need a drink NOW, want to put on play clothes NOW… it’s a little much to start fresh with. :/

  37. says

    learning to count the cost when saying ‘yes’, and seeing that I say ‘yes’ to so much simply by rising and beginning my day. Thankful for His grace.

  38. Alysa says

    Putting in too many activities on top of homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and trying to simply spend quality time with my children. It’s a balance that I just don’t have down quite yet.

  39. Tara H says

    Children fussing or maybe changing attitudes as they’re getting older (my oldest is 11) or maybe our debt load right now…
    I’d love to have this book!

  40. Michele says

    Thank you for the reminder to be still, I need to incorporate that into our lives daily. Can’t wait to read this book :)

  41. Stephanie says

    I’m spinning even without a hoop. Going in circles, round and round…taking on too much at one time, without a clear focus. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  42. Megan H. says

    I feel like I’m spinning hula hoops when I’m overwhelmed with clutter in my house, knowing I need to spend quality time with my sons and husband, and ministering to others in church….all at the same time :) This is the time I most need to spend time in the Word and in prayer with the Lord.

  43. monique says

    I feel like I do hula hoops when my husband is home from work ;) j/k well kinda but in all seriousness when we have lots of activities on our plate and it feels we are not home for a few hours at a time in any given day. Busy is nice but sometimes I feel like I am hula hooping non stop.

  44. Brandae says

    My hula hoops spin nonstop as I try to meet my family’s needs. I definitely could learn from your book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  45. Mimi says

    Right now as I try to coordinate our state to state move while my husband is out of town. Trying to keep all my hoops spinning…homeschooling,parenting, errands, etc.

  46. Meagan says

    I usually feel like my hula hoops are already spinning as I step out of bed each morning. With 4 boys under 6 (one of whom is still frequently night-waking), I feel like i’m behind before my eyes open each morning, and then tripping on my hula hoops for the rest of the day!!

  47. Karen says

    When I was young it was so much fun to hula hoop and see how many I could do at one time. Now I can’t even get one to go around my waist more than one or two times. A physical picture of what has happened to me mentally. In my youth I seemed to be able to handle more but the older I get the less I seem to be able to do. I know in actuality I do so much more now, but when I was young I did so many “big” things and now life is full of even more little things to keep going. Humbling.

  48. Gigi says

    As a twice-divorced-and-in-a-new-relationship, homeschooling mom of 6, one of whom is chronically ill, I am always trying to balance those hula hoops. I liken mine to the spinning plates on sticks that magicians sometimes use in their shows. Holiday time is the hardest.

  49. Michelle says

    I feel the pull between not taking on too much, and yet doing enough so I feel I still have a “life”, or other things that re-energize me. Between working full (plus) time, being married with two young kids, managing chronic illness and trying to adapt us to a whole new diet in search for health, I actually have no energy left for anything else. I am trying to let that be ok right now. This is a season…though it is very hard to lay it all down!

  50. Nancy Mosley says

    I think all of us homeschooling moms can say we are spinning hula hoops because we not only have our children’s education to administer, but our homes, being a wife and then the extra outside activities going on in our lives. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing!

  51. Ashley T says

    I would love a good read! Not only could I use it, but so many of my homeschooling friends could use it, and I would love to share it with them. Thank you!

  52. April says

    I feel most like I’m spinning hula hoops when any extra activity comes my way. Another time would be when I think of all the things I would love to do with women’s ministry but can’t find the time. I know I’m just in a different season and learning to be content in the season I’m in.

  53. Rhonda says

    We homeschool, which is wonderful and we love it. However, because we are able to enjoy some flexibility in our scheduling, it sometimes feels like we have overloaded and tried to do too much. It is in these days of “too much” that I most feel like I am spinning hoops.

  54. Sarah C says

    When things outside of my home start pulling me (working as a nurse more than one day/week, church commitments, social stuff) and I’m trying to do too many extras at home (extra canning, freezer cooking, cooking extra-special things, etc) I feel like everything is spinning out of control. I can do one or the other…not both.

  55. Amy says

    I love reading encouraging words. As a wife and mother of 3, I feel there is so much I want to do and not enough time. Thank you for the giveaway.

  56. Christie K. says

    WOW! Thank you for this post!
    I have an amazing husband and 3 children. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to serve others. It is my true calling. However, my husband tells me that I have a hard time telling others “no”. That I don’t take time for “me”. I enjoy blessing others! It’s hard. SO, I would say that my hula hoops are blessing everyone at the same time, while taking care of my home and family. :) If that makes any sense.
    Thank you for the Love you show to other women and their families. YOU are a blessing!

  57. ione wise says

    I seem fine until someone gets sick, that’s when hoops go flying! So I am in need of better margin spaces for the unexpected.


  58. Kim says

    An older friend and homeschooling mother of too many to count :) once told me that she thought the biggest mistake homeschooling moms make is that they aren’t home enough. I knew it all too well. I guess at some point I just needed another mother tell me that I wasn’t failing my kids, all four under the age of 9 at the time, by not having them in gymnastics, horseback riding, piano, enrichment classes, and acting classes (this was actually our list of activities at one time) and that it was okay to be home. Nothing we do comes without strings and I so desperately wanted my family and home to be priority but there were too many things pulling at us from the outside. I couldn’t keep it all going without letting someone down. The someone that usually paid the price were my husband and kids. As I read and listened to other more seasoned moms I felt encouraged and finally decided to say no to something. It felt so good, so freeing, that I decided to focus on what really mattered to us, kept those things and said no to everything else. The only weekly commitments we now have are piano mid-week, and riding lessons for my oldest following that. We gather with our small group that same evening, so it’s a full day but the only strings attached are the requirement that the kid practice piano 2-3 times a week. Every other day of the week is ours. To do learn. go for a walk, spend time with the people that we’ve decided to be purposeful in knowing, get laundry done, cook meals…. All of the things that keep us well taken care of , and bring life and joy to our family! It’s such a shift from where we were just over two years ago. I’m so thankful for the shared wisdom of mothers that are further down the path that helped me shape my thoughts and gave me the courage to say no to things that didn’t really matter. It took some time to solidify our ideals and hopes for our family and to identify what actually did matter. Laying the foundation of any plan can be tough but once those things were settled in my heart making the choice to keep or let go of the things in our lives was much easier!

  59. Kim says

    This sounds like a great book! I have a chronically ill child (1 of 3 kids) and things have been very hectic over the past few months with his health. I find myself wearing so many hats and feeling like I never get a moment to stop and rest. One of my gifts from the Lord is serving, and I so enjoy serving others and blessing them, However, the past few months of my son’s illnesses have worn me out some and I find myself doing good to just maintain………I would love to read your book of encouragement and insight. Thanks!

  60. katrina morgan says

    Every day it seems I feel like I am spinning the hula hoops, LOL. I am mom to 4 children, whom I home school, as well as take to & from church, Scouts, etc., library, etc. I am looking forward to reading this book!

  61. says

    wow thank you for this encouragement this is exactly how iam feeling today . I’m a mother of 3 very active and lively children who i never can seem to settle down or be quiet and takes forever to get them started. Even from the before my feet hit the ground in the morrning they are nagging me and telling what to do. I have one who is very strong willed and a fire cracker who is my stalker and follows me around hard to get any peace or quiet or time to myself or get anything done leaves me fustrated overwhemled screaming inside. I would love to just have a break or get things done but no help for outside world. Then even when Dad is home they just want this and that and dad and no help either and we try to get time as a couple but constantly bugged ect we can’t even get anyone to watch or help us with our kids so we can get out. By bed time we may get some time to talk but so overwhelmed takes forever to try to clear head and usually so tired and exhusted we fall asleep. Even worse when hubby is working ot as more is expected from me and more stress

  62. says

    With the birth of my second child I have added yet another hula hoop to my collection. I had finally figured out how to balance my life, caring for a child, getting houssework done, cooking meals, playgroups, bible studies, etc. Then i threw another hula hoop around my waste and am trying again to get back into my rhythm. It waill happen, i just have to hang in there!

  63. Shan Gaither says

    Mondays and Thursdays are always our hardest days. As my husband is in pastoral ministry, I often find myself frustrated and at a loss when our family has to “pick up the pieces” after “church days.” I have a 16 year old, a 5 year old, and a 2 year old. Taking care of my kindergarten’s school work while looking after my 2 year old and trying to keep tabs on my sophomore’s progress. It’s tiring period, but it’s especially difficult on those particular days….

  64. Kristi H says

    The weeks when I’m helping my husband by being his sounding board, homeschooling my three littles, teaching the adult ladies’ SS class, having the Shepherding Group meeting at our house, and out of town company will be here for the weekend … that is a lot of hoops. A few years ago on a TV talent contest was a woman who could keep like 100 hoops spinning at once…her stage name was Hoopalicious! This post made me think of her and how I feel like her- a lot!

  65. Cheryl Rathke says

    Been thinking a lot lately about “Good Better Best”. So many good things in my life and my kiddos lives – but are we choosing “good” “better” or “best”? When I choose the best, and put the big rocks in the jar first, there always seems to be more peace in my day and good rhythm to our home life.

  66. Becky J says

    Oh wow…my hula hoops have currently spun off into oblivion…my hoops include transporting our eldest to college classes 30 minutes from home/homeschooling a senior and an eighth grader/driving to co-ops/violin lessons/drumline practice/robotics class/4-H as well as teaching a high school finance co-op class/teaching on Wednesdays for church/leading worship on Sunday mornings and trying to be an encouraging wife and keeper of the home as well as assisting my aging parents….I am EXHAUSTED….add my midlife hormones in and I am find I am battling anxiety over all these responsibilities….I need Jesus’ precious peace..I need to be still…He is my fortress! Blessings to all you dear ladies!

  67. Leah says

    I have a two year old and we are blessed to be expecting another. Tired and nauseated I try to remember how blessed we are. This is much harder for me (and for everyone else) when I am trying to keep all my “hula hoops” in the air. Bedtime right now is difficult because I’m so tired. The real hoops though are relationships with difficult people. I am slowly learning that I need to give these worries to God and that I cannot make everything perfect. This does not make me a failure. Being accepting of this should not leave me feeling defeated. These are the hoops I need to put down.

  68. Dara says

    Wanting to just be and enjoy my kids while juggling homeschooling 2 with 2 preschoolers and planning meals and dealing with paper work and “oh, am I supposed to be actually cleaning this house or just doing survival organization” and . . .I want to adopt more but wonder if I can do it some days.

  69. says

    I am a wife, homeschooling mother of four children (so far), partner in a non-profit ministry my husband & I started, & and beginner to ‘living off the land’ with gardening and raising animals for meat, milk, and eggs. My hula hoops tend to feel unmanageable only when I feel pressure to teach my children more like ‘public school at home’. In Texas the requirements for home education are pretty relaxed… and right now that suits me just fine. After all, my oldest is only SIX! I’d be interested in hearing how September juggles it all, though. I’d LOVE to have ten children, Lord willing. My two oldest are already praying for twins and my youngest is only six months old! Lol!! ;-)

  70. Nancy says

    I have never been able to actually make that hula hoop work , alas, a hopeless-hula-hooper! I do have nine children myself (21yrs-5yrs) and would love to win/read September’s (love her name) book!

  71. Angie says

    All the time! Like so many other homemaking and homeschooling moms, I find that my days can easily be driven by the task(s) at hand, blurring into weeks then months. And the moments that should have been breathed in and relished are gone forever.

  72. Jocelyn says

    Thank you for sharing. I am trying to remain more and more just in the moment and not let fear and anxiety push me to thinking about the future!

  73. Stephanie Thompson says

    Thank you! I am a mom of 7 children ages 12 down to newborn. I am more forgetful, tired and overwhelmed than I have ever been before. At the same time I can feel the Lord little by little teaching me balance. Your article is wonderful encouragement! I am especially encouraged because you know what I feel since you have 11 children! It is rare to hear from a mom of so many!! Thank you thank you!

  74. Brenda says

    When I get trapped in all the things I lay on myself……….the “shoulds” that I have laid on……the killer of the I get to’s, I’m called to, yippeeee I am going to……

  75. Michelle says

    I feel that way almost every evening. I am tired from keeping all the hoops in the air all day long. I don’t have a lot of patience by that time of day and often fall flat on my face!

  76. says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. There is always so much wisdom out there to glean if our hearts are open. I would love to read this book, even if I don’t have 10 children :-)

  77. Teresa R says

    I feel like I’m spinning hula hoops when I am trying to get a chore completed and my husband is demanding my time or asking me to get something for him

  78. Natasha says

    This is exactly where I am right now, trying to figure out what the Lord is asking me to do and what are my extra hoops I am jumping through…thanks for the encouragement!

  79. Melinda T says

    It gets overwhelming when I’m trying to do too many things at a time for myself, my girls, husband and other obligations!

  80. Teresa says

    I have become much better at not over committing myself but I feel like I am married to the hula hoop king. Maybe the book would help my husband?

  81. says

    Too many hoops spinning right now. Spending time with my husband re-considering my schedule…. we’re in ministry and I guess I got to be more of a do-er than I need to be because we are ‘it’ (we are church planters) — but I need to remember that it’s HIS church – HE will bring the people to help and HE doesn’t expect that I will fill in the gaps. It’s a good time of learning and growth for me – though weary, I am also thankful. :) Thank you for reaching out to others in this topic. So appreciated.

  82. says

    The holidays always bring the most hula hoops. Different routines, tired kids, too much travelling, too much excitement…January is often a relief from the spinning!

  83. says

    I feel the most like I’m spinning hula hoops when I’ve believed the lies that my children need to do certain activities to have a “good” childhood. I’m slowly learning to shake off that cultural measuring stick and live within what gives us peace and time to be as a family. If we don’t have that time, something is wrong, and it’s okay to be different than our neighbors:). I have to remind myself that this is not our home, we are living with different goals and standards in mind.

  84. Michelle W. says

    For me, it’s the day to day craziness of early morning routines. Once everyone is where they need to be/doing what they’re supposed to do, I can clear my head and finally put two thoughts together.
    I also feel like I’m spinning hoops when we get involved in too many outside activities/commitments. No matter how wonderful or worthy those things are, I value my time at home and if we’re on the go too much, I have to start saying “no” to things (put down some of those hoops) and regain my sanity.

  85. April says

    Thank you for your blog! Would love to read your book. I often feel like I have hula hoops between balancing daily activities with time for my children and husband.

  86. says

    Oh those hoops tend to happen daily, around 430, when I have to start dinner, and my kids are getting hungry, and bored, and I’m worn out from the day, and there is still 90 minutes before my husband gets home to stand with me. I start thinking of all the things that I didn’t get done, and that if only my kids would entertain themselves for a little while longer I could get everything done and our evening could be perfect…

  87. Michelle Clinton says

    This has been an over flowing week. I’m feeling exhausted. Mostly it has been church activities, with another one tonight. I love the fellowship with other believers but, for the last seven days we have had an event every day. I’m craving time at home with just my family. It doesn’t look that is even in my near future. I soooo know better than to get myself in this place. Experiencing burn out today. *Tears*

    Thanks for the encourgement.

    • Ruby says

      I saw your tears…
      How I can relate…we were going to 2 home fellowships…I was nursing my newborn and homeschooling our 3 other kids…11, 7, 8…and my husbnad works A TON!!! All duties have always been my territory since my husbnad is so exhausted from his job…and I was preparing to take over a once a week overseeing 4 prschool age classes!! It was nuts!! I kept praying and crying and trying not to scream…finding pockets of personal time came only in the shower…in the early morning…1 or 2 am… I wouldcry it all out and pray…where would it all end??
      The Lord was faithful 2 carry me and recognize what was vital in life…what was eternal…
      There were a few things dropped when our commitment was over.
      We made sure to not fill our plates again!!
      Since then the Lord has brought me to an understanding and confirmation through many hat I am supposed to teach…teach the masses…not sur if it is a group ata time or a person ata time…I have done both since I have been obedient to go where HE has called…But I am ready to be brought to tears each morning as I look at my day…without a break in the near future…so we take 1 bite at a time…remembering often that tomorrow is promised to no man…so i get excited when i realize if we don’t get it all done…maybe it is because we won’t be here tomorrow!! What a joyous thought!!
      I pray the rest of your week may be uplifting as you hold onto the love of the lord…HIS promises…and HIS overwhelming peace that passes all understanding…
      May you step back and revaluate your plate…if necessary…and begin to pray if you need to drop some activities either for the day or permanently…If the Lord has called you to it all…then may you be strengthened by HIS Holy Spirit…I pray your heart rises and soars above the circumstances; looking down and gaining a fresh pespective. I pray you take a few minutes to breath…or take a warm shower…or even pick up a moment in the bathroom where you can lock the door!!…or 2 minutes 2 dance like i do!!!…and remember your first love…HE is jealous for you and desires to fill you to overflowing with full and neverending love….
      Finally sweet Michelle…may you know beyond a shadow of a doubt…if the Lord is your Savior…HE is building a place for you in heaven right now!! You will one day be at the feet o our Father…in worship and awe…in undescribable fullness of nature…looking back on this life and understanding every step..every moment of weakness and frailty…every pain and ache…every decision and every opportunity….you will see it was all worth it as you look up from the arms of your Savior and hear…”WELL DONE!!”


  88. Courtney says

    I spin hula hoops daily. I teach a beautiful classroom full of energetic 3yr. olds who use upthem most of my energy by the end of the day. I enter survival mode by the time I get home striving to have some energy left for my own two children and husband. Our family is also pursuing Foster Care, something that has been a dream of my for a while. We are trying to patiently wait for God’s timing for our family

  89. Gail says

    Thank you for the reminder that we all need Quiet time to reflect and center our calling as mothers. As for the Hula Hoops, with 11 children, I feel they sometimes provide the hoops for me to balance & keep in motion.

  90. Abbie says

    I loved that you shared about being in the right season. I struggle to live in the season I am in with little ones, wanting more little ones, and not having time for much else than diapers, toilet training, baths, and cleaning. Praise God, He meets me where I am. I hope to win the book, but am thankful just to read the post. I’m sure there are many more ladies out there that would reap more benefits from it.

  91. Abigail says

    Would love to hear your story and gain encouragement through your experience. In just a short while, we’ll have 5 kids in the house and I’d love to hear how you seem to balance things in your life.

  92. says

    I have different hula hoops for different seasons, but I can tell when I am doing too much outside my home and know that it is time to examine those “hula hoops” and decide which ones to pass on to someone else. I do think its important to be involved in serving others outside my home, especially for my kids to see that, but when it becomes too much I know I have to step back and evaluate.

  93. Suzanne G. says

    Love the image of the hula hoops:) Oh how at times I juggle more than one! Your book sounds like a must read.

  94. says

    Almost everyday. As a homeschooling mom of 10, my days tend to be juggling acts. However, when I remind myself to be open to God’s direction for my day, I see the beauty in the circus! I’m sure this book would be a wonderful source of encouragement, from one mom to another!

  95. Stacie says

    Today. Trying to homeschool, keep up with the house and take care of a sick boy. God equips us though and gets us through it.

  96. Capri says

    On days like this, when my small child is sick and I still pore over my to-do lists when I know she really needs my full attention, I realize I’m piling the hula hoops on my arms.

  97. Sheri P says

    I was doing well at balancing things, then I let both of my daughters had evening dance classes to our week. Now things are out of balance . I know better, but I forget and think I can do it all.

  98. Barb S. says

    On weekends, when we add oldest home from college, extended family and church activities, and larger household jobs.

  99. Kristy Cirillo says

    When preparing for religious ed classes. I want to give the children the tools they need this year but it is so overwhelming.

  100. says

    I go back and forth…

    Lately, I have said no to everything. I tend to have a million and one things going or nothing at all. I’m still trying to find that balance. I guess you could say I’m a bipolar hoola hooper, lol.
    When I was a girl I would hop on my pogo ball, hoola hoop and jump rope all at the same time…it was all about how much I could do at once. Hmmm….? :)

  101. September West says

    I feel like I’m spinning hula hoops most of the time :-). Between homeschooling, housework, meals & care of my family of 11, every waking moment is busy.

  102. Melissa McIntyre says

    Unfortunatly, ALL of the time. I strive for perfection so that I don’t have to receive an earful from all of the nay-sayers and judges. Instead of just listening to GOD and what HE has to say, and of course my husband too! He is always very encouraging and hates it when I beat myself up over someone else’s “ideas” for me.

  103. Coby says

    I had to laugh at the ears ringing at the end of the day. When people ask me what my house is like with 3 boys, I always reply, “Loud. Just…loud.” ;-) Sounds like a book I would enjoy!

  104. Miriam says

    Hi September,
    I love your name! My baby girl born to heaven was born Sept. 4th. Her name is Gioia, which is Joy in Italian. Hope to read your book soon.

  105. Gwendolyn says

    I feel like I’m always spinning hula hoops….homeschooling, housework, parenting, being a wife….and still trying to find some “me” time to exercise so I can have the energy to do everything that I need to do!

  106. Sheila says

    Always when I let an interruption happen during home school time. An unavoidable appointment, a phone call I choose to answer that takes longer than it should, or even on a really bad day I get distracted by the computer. My kids get distracted and the rest of the school morning never goes well. My students are K,1st,2nd, 3rd and we have a 2yo wandering about. Because we are a foster home we have an average of 6 – 7 regular reoccurring appointments a week, carefully scheduled into our afternoons. If our mornings get thrown off, so does the rest of the day right up to the kiddos bedtimes. I’d like to say I handle this well. Some days I do, but…

  107. Judi P says

    I feel this when teaching multiple children of all ages and dealing with life issues along the way. Trying to decide on the fly how to deal with each one.

  108. Sally says

    I most feel like I am spinning hoops when I am trying to prepare supper, the 1 year old is begging to be picked up, the 3 year old is needing help with something, my oldest married daughter calls with a question, and my husband walks in the door. It is stressful just typing it out!

  109. says

    The hoops I’ve currently got spinning are raising my triplets, being a better wife, blogging, homemaking, getting fitter and other sundry responsibilities that don’t fit in a designated time-frame. Balance is something I strive to achieve some day. Till then, I get my time with God on track and hope everything will fall in place. I’d love to glean more information from the book!

  110. Ruby says

    How I can relate!! Although i only have 4…balancing is difficult. Trying to stand and maintain order amidst the choas is my biggest battle when the Lord desires me to be on my knees and recognize the chaos is actually HIS blessings. I just can’t always see them over the mountain of laundry or dishes. Teusting HIS best for my children sounds great when I am praying and journaling but when i am preparing their plans for the week…ugh…it is a never ending battle. But breathing in the middle is key…remembering God is the author and finisher of all thimgs…HE has great plans…and I always tell my husband…”take 2 minutes to dance”…We can’t even dance!! But it puts into perspective what matters…what is eternal…

  111. Melissa Fordyce says

    Being 33 with 9 children ages 17,15,13,12,9,8,6,3,& 1 – I usually say I’m juggling but I line the hula hoop analogy!. Add health issues now I don’t take it one day at a time – it’s one hour at a time ..

  112. Christy says

    I just went back to work full-time, so I feel like I’ve added a huge new hula hoop and am trying to figure out which ones I can put down that I was able to spin before. Add to that the responsibilities of a pastor’s wife and I sometimes just feel on the verge of collapse. I’m praying through it, though, and God is faithful – I just have to be strong enough to want to please Him more than I want to please those around me. . .

  113. Mandy says

    When the kitchen is a mess, the baby won’t stop crying, my toddler is throwing a fit and it’s five and I haven’t started dinner yet! Throw in lack of sleep and I’m headed for a meltdown! :D

  114. Tamrah T says

    Most days I can handle. It’s around the holidays I find a few extras to do…it’s not the expectation that others place to do each. It unfortunately is the expectation I place on myself. Temporary as they may be, I still manage to over do in “well doing”.

  115. Kristin K says

    I often feel like I have so many things going on and I cannot seem to do any of my jobs particuarly well. Something is always getting neglected in the process and too often it is my little children – cleaning seems to be more pressing, but I am trying to listen to God’s guidance and put aside those things that are really not that urgent, and focus on the little blessings that He has entrusted into my care.

  116. Melanie Shannon says

    Would love to read this book. Between work (2 jobs), a husband, two kids & two dogs, I am constantly trying to keep the Hula Hoops going but most days I feel like I am spinning out of control!

  117. Sarah says

    At night, when I lay in bed and start to think of all my ideals or hula hoops—and wish I could get it right just for one day.

  118. Leah says

    I love the analogy of hula hoops! I was trying to explain this very thing to someone not too long ago, and I don’t think they ever got it. They were wondering why I’m haven’t been doing any “hobbies” and when I try to do smething for myself why I get so flustrated. They were pushing me to do something for myself, but honestly if it’s more stress than it’s worth it really is doing more harm than good. Sure I may pull out a ball of yarn every few months, but honestly it isn’t worth it at this season in my life. My little girl (two and a half) is growing up too fast, and this season of her childhood won’t be here much longer. Would I rather throw myself into a project that will be for nothing in the big scheme of things, or do i want to nurture the child God has given me? Add in the constant housework, laundry, dishes, errands, and anything else life throws at me, I don’t have free time other than a few minutes with my bible a day. I am so far from perfect and I mess up daily. Some days I just can’t get all my hula hoops going in the way they need to! I guess tht’s why we’re human though.

  119. Amber says

    Hula hoops….!! I would define myself as a bit of a perfectionist…..add the hustle and bustle of everyday life….mix 4 little childrens in there…..homeschooling and we have a girl perfecting the “hula hoop!” Didmi mention perfectionist….? But boy am i blessed!! That makes it all worth the while!

  120. Jaci says

    All day long I feel like I’m spinning the hula hoops! Sigh….and they feel like they are always threatening to fall (crash). And I’m tired and dizzy from all this!

  121. Kat says

    Wow – 10 kids. I sure have some mom questions for her! How did she do it / does it?

    Children are a gift from the Lord – I believe this and I try to live this out. But boy is it tough. I have two little boys and I’m due for #3 in another month. Hula hoops are: cooking, cleaning, laundry (get’s it’s own!), husband, working overseas across cultures, serving, loving.

  122. Cathy E says

    This time of year, particularly, with the added demand of New Year’s Goals. I struggle to do our “outside” activities like homeschool co-op and church functions, while simultaneously trying to lose weight, organize, improve our finances, etc… . Also, in August, when we first get back to “doing school” along with sometimes other commitments.

  123. says

    I feel like I am trying to hula hoop the most when I am trying to teach/homeschool and run errands at the same time. There can be a low level (and sometimes a high level) of anxiety that tries to set in as I am trying to “get it all done” some days.

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