productivity, motherhood, motivation

Become more productive; use what you've got! A story of breastmilk and productivity in life.

As a new mom, much of my time is consumed with breastfeeding, pumping, and navigating the order/routine of it all.

During a recent pumping session as I diligently worked to deliver milk from what some women call an “under-producing” breast, I scrolled through yet another article educating me on the on the process of how milk is actually replenished after pumping. And for those of you who may not know, pumping is a process by which using a small electric machine, you’re able to extract milk from the breast into a bottle for immediate or future use. I know that word extract may sound a bit harsh, but the act of pumping isn’t painful…it is however a rather unusual feeling, but nothing a bit of nipple cream and the proper breast shield can’t resolve. I use the Madela Pump in Style Advanced, and it’s been working great for me.

So on to the point of discussion.

As I continued my research it turns out that contrary to my initial thought that I should wait to for my milk supply to replenish after pumping and therefore alternate between bottle-feeding and nursing in-between pumping sessions, in reality, the milk is only produced at the rate by which the breast is emptied of the milk. I.e. remove more milk by nursing the baby or pumping, and more milk is produced. Essentially, the more you use what you have, the more you receive.

I love the way says it, “The breast will begin to shut down milk production within several days if milk is not REGULARLY & EFFECTIVELY removed.”

My thought process was so wrong! I was concerned about not having enough milk for subsequent nursing sessions and therefore wanted to hold off until I had more time for the milk to let down. And on other occasions, I didn’t want to pump for fear of not having enough milk in the breast when ready to nurse.

Do you see how this way of thinking could keep me at a standstill, hostage, and completely unproductive and ineffective for my baby?  

This concept reminded me of the way many of us regard our talents, money, and time!  Much like the breast milk production, our productivity in life can also shut down if our talents, money, and time are not REGULARLY & EFFECTIVELY removed or utilized.

We put off doing things like starting that business, getting out of debt, applying for the open position, giving generously to others, traveling, and the list goes on, simply because we are afraid that  that little that we do have isn’t enough to produce an increase of what we want or need.

Here are two examples:

You want to become a financial donor to an amazing non-profit, but you think the extra five bucks a month that you have available isn’t enough to really make a difference, so you tell yourself you’ll wait until your income increases and then you can give. But in doing this, your main goal of giving to the non-profit, is unfulfilled. Additionally, your delay in giving doesn’t actually produce an increase in your income. The 5 bucks you could’ve been giving, is simply being “taken away” as you use it for other things in the meantime.

Similarly, if you’re waiting to receive the next certification (whatever it may be) before you apply for that open positon at work that you’ve had your eye on for the last year, in the time of waiting the position may be fulfilled by someone else, leaving you in the same spot you’ve been in. Instead, use the expertise you already have and remain faithful in your current position as you take a step of faith and apply for the new position. That new position may in fact be the very thing that opens doors for the certification you desire to achieve.

*Disclaimer, of course this principle doesn’t apply to everyone’s specific circumstance. There are indeed times when you may need to develop more or wait for the proper timing, but don’t fall into the trap of masking your true convictions with your fear and anxiety.

When our productivity is low and we’re holding on to the little that we have in hopes of saving something, only to realize we’re in the same place we’ve been in for the last year or even several years, we find ourselves infective and unfulfilled!

Like many of you, I too have been deceived, but now that we know the truth, we can begin to use what we have as we eagerly and rightfully await receive more.

Here are several scriptures from the Bible that speak directly to this principle:

·       Mark 4:25 “For to the one who has, more will be given, from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” ESV

·       Luke 16:10 “One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much.” ESV

·       1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they are found faithful.”  ESV

I encourage you to consider this principle as you make decisions. Know that what you have is indeed enough. Use it, give it, and share it REGULARLY & EFFECTIVELY, and see your faithfulness increase!

 – Candace Claiborn



Do you trust yourself?

Have you ever started a list but failed to finish it? Planned a day of errands but stayed in one store for just too long?  If you're saying yes, you're not the only one. Many of us are challenged with what is often described as poor time/money management and procrastination. But this challenge can affect other areas of life just the same, and I believe that a core reason for this is a lack of trust. 

Not trusting ourselves and more importantly not trusting the process!

So here are 3 ways to build trust:

1. Set realistic and tangible expectations. 

For example, when planning your day, think about what truly needs to get done: What's required, what will yield the most results, and even what is most rewarding. Be honest about the time that it will take to complete and segment activities accordingly. This principle applies to all areas of your life: relationships, running errands, projects at work,  personal goals, and even recreational activities.  Don't set yourself up for failure, just be honest.

2. Follow through even when you feel unsure. 

It can feel so difficult to follow through when something else seems so pressing; this misappropriation of time, can take you down rabbit trails you have no business being on. Stick to the list; don't allow for distractions, learn to trust yourself and the expectations you've set. Be careful to not allow old habits run the show; I've heard it said that the best way to break a bad habit is to starve it to death!

3. Receive the grace that God extends to you. 

There will be times when you have to move out of your own way in order to let grace meet you. Despite your mishaps, poor management of resources: time, money, energy and the like, you have to keep going. Discouragement and guilt will always try to hold you back, but embrace the grace and keep it moving!