NaBloPoMo + Ponderizing + My Committment to Stop Yelling

Hello Friends!

It’s a rare Sunday that I’m posting here on the blog and I’ll tell you why. November is National Novel Writing Month. Authors make crazy goals to write huge amounts and really hammer out some of the thoughts they have in their heads. It’s a goal making and reaching marathon of sorts. In a similar fashion, bloggers try to post every day for the month of November. I know that might not sound like a huge deal, but trust me on this one. Thirty posts in November is the same amount of posts I published in March, April, and May of this year combined. It’s a big goal but one I’ve really mentally committed to. NaBloPoMo is a crazy way of saying “National Blog Post Month” and I’m going for it this year. I want to do it to prove to myself that I can. I want to stretch my writing skills and try new post styles. I want to regain the traffic and momentum that I lost during my pregnancy and stint with depression this year. I. Can. Do THIS!

That being said, I don’t normally post on Sundays. Blogging is my job and I have a very personal commitment to not work on Sundays as part of my Sabbath observance. I don’t normally share much about my religion or religious views here, but I’m going to take Sundays to share a scripture and some thoughts with you. It’s my way of finding balance with the NaBloPoMo challenge while still keeping my sabbath a special day.

There was an amazing talk in General Conference this October called My Heart Pondereth Them Continually By Devin G. Durrant. Here’s the meat and potatos of Elder Durrant’s message:

I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.

There are two simple steps:

First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day.

Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.

Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more.

As you make this effort, you will feel an increase in spirituality. You will also be able to teach and lift those you love in more meaningful ways.

I heard this and thought, “Hey, even I can do that!”. It’s a simple thing that just takes a little time and planning, but one that will make a big difference in my day. So I thought I’d share the scripture that I plan on “ponderizing” for the week. It’s Luke 21:19.

Luke 2119I made this to print out and hang on my fridge so that I see it all the time. If you’d like to ponderize this scripture with me this we I would LOVE that. You can right-click and save the image to print for your own fridge.

“In your patience possess ye your souls.”

This next part is pretty painful for me to write.

I searched the work “patience” in the scriptures and read lots and lots of verses that contained the word. I need patience in my life so very much. I hope that seeing this often will remind me of another goal that I’ve set for myself.

I am going to stop yelling at my kids.

You read that right. I yell at my kids. I’m not sure when it started, sometime after I had my 4th baby and then it really became an ugly habit during this last pregnancy when I was struggling so much with depression and feeling so poorly physically. And a habit it has become. I hate it, but I do it.

With sick kids and not leaving the house much combined with little sleep and too much cleaning to do, I have had a really hard time this week with patience which I really feel like is the root of my yelling. I was trying to run errands and asked the four-year-old to find his shoes and get into the suburban. I had utilities bills to drop off the day before it was due, mail to drop off and pick up at the post office because it’d been days since I had, and I had chickens to feed and water because they’ve been overlooked during sickness survival mode. Nothing major, just things I had to do that day. The baby was fed and I had a little tiny window to get these things done. He couldn’t find shoes and just cried and cried about me even asking him to look. I gave up on the shoes and just asked him to get in. Melt. DOWN!!! He was crying while laying on the sidewalk and I had the other babies in the car already to go. I stood 15 feet away from him and yelled at him to get in the car. JUST GET IN!!! More tears, more refusing, more yelling. I finally had to march over to him and drag him in. Did I do it kindly? No I sure didn’t. I wasn’t kind to him. I was tired and grumpy. I got in the car and cried on the way to all my errands.


It hit me that if I’m yelling outside where people can here me and not just in my house, I officially have a problem.

I have a problem.

I am a yeller.

I hate it.

So dear friends. If you haven’t given up on me yet after reading that. Thank you.

I’m committing to you, to my babies, and to myself to stop yelling. Not only will I be posting this whole month, but I will also be attempting to go 30 whole days without yelling at my kids. The latter sounds like a much harder feat to me. I actually started the day that I yelled outside and I haven’t yelled since, so I’m on day 2 🙂

My scripture this week is to help me with my goal.

“In your patience possess ye your souls.”

I hope that you’ll ponderize with me and share your thoughts with me. You can tell me what you think of the scripture and how it applies to your life (since I just told you the context I am reading it in). If you have any thoughts on my goal to stop yelling I’m all ears too.

Thank you for being here. Accountability is huge and I just made myself very very accountable. Thank you for being that for me.

I will not be remembered as a mama who screamed at her kids. I’ve but in too many great hours to let it all burn down now. My kids deserve better and I am better than that. I can do hard things. Love does.


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Love love love this scripture! I’m putting it on my fridge right now 🙂 thanks for sharing your goals — I definitely need to work on my patience!! I love seeing your human-ness shine through your blog, because really, I think you are a rock star.


Just beautiful! I’m a mother of two with little help and I yell. You’ve inspired me today and I’ll take part on your pledge. Work on patience and no yelling for 30 days. Thanks for your courage in sharing your truth. It’s not a shame, it’s just human behavior acting out upon pressure. After this post, I can only admire you more.


Proverbs 29:11 has helped me: A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
I’m glad someone else is brave enough to come clean about yelling at their kids. So, yeah, me too! It’s horrible. I’m ashamed. Embarrassed. Devastated that I would be the one treating my kids in that way… Thanks for sharing your heart. Hang in there. Be honest with your progress or lack thereof. Meditate on those scriptures that help you overcome the sin you’re struggling with. That’s what the Bible tells us to do pretty much from cover to cover. Meditate/ponderize ? on the Word of God.


While you work on being patient with the kids, your scripture also implies that we must be patient with ourselves as we work to possess our souls. You are already making great strides if you can recognize your weaknesses and make a conscious effort to change. Keep up the good work!

katie w

haha, you made me chuckle when you said you were on day 2! 🙂 I hate hate hate yelling. It makes me feel like such a horrible mom, especially when I hear my kids start to yell at each other. They of course get in trouble for yelling at each other, but I don’t have my mom around to put me in time out anymore. I’m totally joining you in your commitment! I can do this.
I’m excited for this month! You have a lot to share, can’t wait to read about it!


Even though it’s not right, it’s very common in mothers. Too many things to do and not enough time. You’ll do better just cut back on chores and don’t worry about things that don’t get done. They probably weren’t that important to begin with and your kids are more important.

Avalon Marsh

Oh Mama! I am right there with you and thanks for helping me find my ponderize scripture this week. I feel like a two face because I have times where I am super patient and then times that I just explode and I realize that I am probably terrifying to my children because they never know what it’s going to be. Just this week I was thinking about you and thought about how you can do everything with 5 kids and that you were probably such an amazing mother. And even after your post I still think that Melissa. You are going to rock your challenges this month because you are an amazing woman and Mother. You got this!


First, I must commend you on even writing about this topic to the public. Second, we all do it…you are not alone! I know I have only one child as you already know but it seems like the older he has gotten, the less I yell. Now it’s more like ughs, huffs and puffs. Which only now, I realize there is no productivity in that either. That’s something I could cut out with the ole hubby too! Wow…seriously, you made me ponder without even knowing it. Third of all, I’m supporting you all the way with your 30 days of blogging! That may be tougher than cutting out the yelling.


Your honesty is admirable. None of us want to publicize our less than perfect parenting moments, but we all have them. I yelled at my kids when they were little too. (they are now 28, 26, and 24, and the memory still makes me cringe). In retrospect, I think the yelling was much more about me and how I felt about myself, than anything to do with the kids or what they had or hadn’t done. Give yourself a break, acknowledge that your job raising those youngsters is so hard, and that you will make mistakes. Love yourself as well as your kids, and you will find the urge to yell just disappears. Take care, and be good to yourself.


I love the idea of ponderizing because memorizing a scripture seems daunting….how much time will it take/not thinking abt the words themselves. Ponderizing is a little here, a little there. Perfect for mom’s. And you are applying it directly to your life. Good job!


Thanks for sharing! I’m working on the same thing right now! I never wanted to be a yeller either but it turns out having a toddler has rocked my world more than I thought so here I am reevaluating my values in parenting and trying to make positive changes 🙂 glad I’m not alone!


Oh Melissa. That’s something I have to work on after every pregnancy. I’ve found that just remembering that I have chosen to find another way to communicate with the children is what works the best for me. I was not a yeller until Alan. He’s really hard. Not a good reason to yell, though. 🙂 We’re all a work in progress.

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.