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  1. You hit it spot on! Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have 3 boys and we homeschool as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have said those very words! Thank you for being real and sharing your struggle along with the urging to expand. I really like your perspective. I’m going to talk to my boys about your article, so we can work on this together. Nine months ago we moved from a 3200 sq ft home in Austin to a 1600 sq ft home north of Austin on 20 acres. I love being in the sticks, but it can get quite loud, so I soooooo need to expand! I’m going to write that word on the chalkboard in my kitchen right now! Thanks so much for this post!

    1. Oh Jennifer–that just blessed me. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment. I totally feel you…We also moved from a bigger home to smaller, just when we added our fourth son! haha. We gotta use that land and send those boys out! 🙂 I hope things go well as you EXPAND! 🙂 Aloha-

  2. Again…another post to encourage. Thanks for allowing God to use you ! Thanks for being real and transparent. God is good in giving us boys and wisdom and patience when we ask.
    Many blessings to you !
    I do pray for you 😊

  3. I read this a few days ago and just wanted to come back and read it again. It has been a game-changer for me this week, as I’ve gently pushed myself to expand when I’ve felt like taking it easy on the couch! I also find adjusting my expectations helps a lot- like you did with the time for being in bed- by giving myself some grace re times. Thanks for doing what you do!

  4. Hi Monica once again thankyou for a great post. You have a great gift of always seeming so calm ,with infinite patience & understanding am surprised you even need to expand lol. But thankyou for giving us this insight into your “gift” & for showing us & teaching us too that we too can always open up to more understanding of each other & ourselves.
    Being in the UK our kids have only just broke up for summer hols so this is our first week & even though I love the time to spend having fun quality time with my only one son sometimes 6 weeks seem an awfully long time lol & you have the 4 boys!
    Thanks once again enjoy your summer & love to you & your lovely special family. God bless xxx

    1. Louise–Thank you for your kind words…And I love that i totally have you fooled, haha. Really, thank you. I hope you have a wonderful 6 weeks of fun and rest and even a little quiet…blessings and aloha

  5. I love your perspective! Especially because this summer all my three boys want to do is wrestle in the living room! I could use this with patience with my patients at work. I could use it with my mother since my dad’s passing just weeks ago. I can use it with my husband when I remind him of a scheduled event for the 100th time (I bet I could tell him 101 times). I think I will have a new post it on my bathroom mirror “EXPAND”. Thanks so much for the insight!

    1. Thank you Jen–Love that you can actually apply this to multiple situations. You nailed it. Blessings to you and enjoy the rest of summer…even the wrestling. 🙂 Aloha-

  6. What a wonderful word to use for your kids and yourself! I use a yearly word too and this year I tried a word for each month. It has definitely been a challenge at times, but totally worth it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Peggy! I’ve actually never done the word of the year thing but always thought I should. I’d love to hear a list of some of your words for the month. Very cool! Much aloha and thank you for commenting. xo

  7. Inspiring and thought provoking !
    I’ll try to expand when multitasking in the office and during holidays with my little one.
    Thank you Monica, I love your posts 🙂

  8. Oh how I needed to hear this as we’ve crossed the mid-way point of summer. I was just sharing with a friend that summer brings out the absolute best & worst of me as a mama:/ cheers to expanding! Thanks!

  9. tracy evans says:

    i will have to try that!

  10. Heather Strong says:

    This is SO perfect! I was just praying for the ability to have more patience and be able to take “more” from my kids – especially regarding bedtime. Thanks so much for this encouraging article sweet Monica. I will def be trying to remember this tomorrow and will be sharing!

  11. Reeta Reed says:

    Could not have said it better!!

  12. That is so beautiful! I am at the point where I don’t want to expand anymore! aaaggghhh! Never been very flexible, I am better now than I used to be but most days I am fed up before I even get up! Psalm 51:10 is my mantra 🙂

  13. You always seem to know exactly what I need to hear! Great post and generally wonderful blog with lots of variety and genuinely helpful advice (even though I’m not of the same faith and live in Scotland so life could seem very very different!)x

  14. GREAT ARTICLE MONICA! This is a great way to expand patience, and lower expectations. I especially loved the part about expanding bed time till 10 pm, so you’re not annoyed at 9:15 pm, when everyone is still wandering around :). Such a great way of quantifying the expansion idea!
    PS How did Luke do at Nationals, the last week?

  15. same comment as Jay, but I clicked on your FB to finish reading. thank you for the reminder to take a deep breath and press on~ I mean EXPAND~

  16. Hi! My “continue reading” link was also not present in my email. I hope all technical difficulties are easily resolved 🙂

    Great post! I loved your point of view! It’s always good when we can laugh at ourselves 🙂

    1. Thanks Alex! I just got that fixed, but thank you so much for letting me know! 🙂 Next time it should be back to normal!

  17. I love this and am excited to do a little expanding of my own . . . Thank you, Monica. As always – Great Stuff!

  18. Rachel koustik says:

    So much truth and wisdom! I have 3 boys that are 4 and under, and one last baby on the way. In this az heat I feel like someone is always trying to drive me up the wall. My new motto: expand! Thanks girl!

  19. “I just can’t take it anymore” is really “I just don’t want to take this any more.” Interesting! Patience as a decision. Boy could we use a little more patience over her, especially me.

  20. So right again Monica! My kids have been overusing the phrase “you’re annoying me!” So I have been teaching my kids that being annoyed is a choice- you can actually choose NOT to be annoyed. I hope as they grow into young adults that they grasp this small concept because it can make a really big difference as they learn to love and bear with one another. Thanks again for sharing your mom moments and wisdom with us!

  21. Needed that! Love your wisdom! Thank you!

  22. What a wise son! 😉 Fantastic article. Thank you.

  23. Monica, you are so right! I love the way you simplified the concept into one perfect word that our boys can grasp. Convicting and refreshing at the same time! Thanks, friend!

  24. Not sure how to address this, but the “continue reading” link in my emails no longer works, to bring me to your site. Any ideas? Didn’t know where else to post this.

    1. Oh strange…I’ll look into that! Sorry. (Assuming you figured out to just go to my site on your own, right? –guessing that’s how you left the comment ;)). I’ll see what I can do though, thanks for heads up 😉

    2. it’s all fixed–thought I should follow up so you know. 🙂 Thank you again for letting me know!