A Priceless Gift

Merry Christmas! I pray everyone had a joyful Christmas Day in spite of the various life circumstances many of us encountered - life doesn’t stop just because a holiday rolls around does it? I’m returning home from a long visit with family and friends and as I recap the many events of the holiday and the gifts given and received, I’m amazed at the frequent times the Lord reminded me of the ultimate gift to share - the gift of salvation. I was given several opportunities to share the priceless gift and each experience was a blessing to me. It doesn’t matter what gifts we exchanged this Christmas, none of them will ever compare to the priceless gift from God. Thank God His gift isn’t seasonal and there is no concern for size, color, or price! Hallelujah! Isn’t it wonderful that we can continue celebrating and sharing this priceless gift that will never fade, break, or lose the excitement of newness? I challenge every mother to take advantage of this awesome opportunity to ask children, friends, and family members what their favorite gift was to give or receive. Once their answer is given, remind or share with them the most precious gift they can ever receive - the gift of God. The Lord will bless us as we use every opportunity to share Him with others not only during the Christmas season, yet every day of the year!

Romans 8:23 (KJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Stay Strong!

Motherhood can be stressful and here comes Christmas! I don't know why we turn this Holy Holiday into a crazed array of ribbons and bows. I believe it's because we get caught up in the chaos of traffic, shopping, commercials, and people in our ear and we feel we need to be a part of this. No we don't!! My husband keeps asking me when I'm going shopping and I say, "Shopping for what? Who needs a gift?" Yes, he looks at me like I'm crazy, yet that is how I feel. I don't plan on being one of those last minute shoppers, yet shopping just isn't a priority for me this year. Most of my gifts will be home made baked goods and the list is short. I'm trying my best and praying for discipline to remember what Christmas is all about. It's so easy to get caught up in the hype. We do all this running around trying to get things done and we're running all around Jesus and the holiday is supposed to be about Him! Anyway, slow down if you are getting stressed out, take a deep breath, and do ONLY what is necessary. Children don't need everything they ask for and they will be happy with what they receive. If they aren't happy - maybe they didn't deserve it anyway. Just one mother's opinion (smile).

You've Been Missed!

Hello MOMSWEB Family!
Yes, it’s been a while and I thank all of you for your prayers and concerns.
I’ve been great, yet my computer has been quite ill and is recovering from a virus. I’ve missed having contact with everyone soooo much and your emails, received almost a month later, convinced me more than ever of the love mothers of all ages have for MOMSWEB. My passion to encourage you and support the role of Motherhood has definitely increased. The Lord has blessed me with this avenue and I will do it with my whole heart while I’m able. The more obstacles come my way, the more I’m determined and passionate to glorify God in my life while I have life. Lord willing, I’ll chat with you on Monday through the MW Monday Meditation! As I share with you, please feel free to share MW with others.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

I Still Have Peace

Thank you to everyone for attempting to contact me via email or phone and wondering where I've been. I'm still here, yet my computer is terminally ill (smile). This is the third time this year, so I'm convinced it's time for my computer to be replaced. I'm at the library using a very nice computer!! I'm putting the word out and praying that some organization or company will donate a computer to MOMSWEB, so we can continue our mission of encouraging and offering mothers spiritual support. I've had to pick up the phone a little more than I care to, yet it's been a blessing. I even lost my voice for a few days after my computer went down. When it rains it pours! In spite of having no MOMSWEB contact with you, I still have peace! Things happen for a reason and MOMSWEB will be back stronger than ever - new and improved!! Count in JOY! Keep MOMSWEB in your prayers and thanks for your concern. This lets me know that MOMSWEB is missed and very much needed. I miss you toooooo!

Give the gift of Peace, Love, and Joy

While we are preparing for a fun and eventful Thanksgiving and Christmas, let’s not forget those who may have a difficult time this season. Many are dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, a broken marriage, children who have gone astray, illnesses, or just unhappy with their life. Although television portrays a season of joy and laughter, it is still the time of the year when suicide rate increases. Many people tend to feel lonely and get lost in the holiday hype. The world celebrates around them leaving them to deal with their pain alone. A simple telephone call, a card, or a ‘thinking of you’ gift can make a difference in someone’s life. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal those in your life and around you who may need special attention this season. We are so blessed to have peace, love, and joy in our life, so let’s share it with someone else!

Most Improved Player

My sons’ first football season is over - thank you, Jesus! Both boys were asked to play on all-star teams, yet Mom and Dad said, “No!” I love sports, yet enough is enough. Both boys excelled at the game and one even received The Most Improved Defensive Player Award for his team. While on our way home from the last game, I evaluated the season and smiled at how resistant I was to the everyday practices and making myself available for ministry to mothers on the practice field.

I communicated with many mothers, yet there was one I couldn’t seem to connect with. I doubt we had one conversation the whole season, yet during the last practice, she came up to me and asked what church I attended and for directions. We introduced ourselves and I asked if she was saved. She quickly said she was; yet her family has been out of fellowship. It’s ironic I felt no connection was made with her, yet she watched me the whole season! God always comes in a direction we don’t expect- His ways and thoughts are not ours. As we continued sharing and talking about our mutual friend, Jesus, I felt an overwhelming joy in my heart and privately praised God with gratitude for using me to reach this mother. The entire football season was worth this one family being reconnected back into the family of God. Touchdown!

Actions really do speak louder than words and I am always under observation – inside and outside of my home. Sinners are looking for a reason to believe in Jesus, believers are looking for a reason to continue believing, and my children need to see consistency in my walk and my talk. Football season has taken me to another level in my witness. I received an award also - Most Improved Player (on the battlefield for the Lord). This award is just preparation for my next assignment - my husband recently brought home two basketball applications. Time to find my position on the courts!

Holiday Hype Progress

I'm not finished with Step II (organize) yet! I've been baking alot lately, the boys finally had their championship games for the end of football season, and we've had out of town company, so I haven't THOUGHT about going through the boxes in the garage yet. Okay, it's two weeks before Thanksgiving, so let's get through Thanksgiving first and then concentrate on Christmas decor. Whew! I feel relieved already and I still have plenty of time to go through my steps. I was well on my way to Stress Street just thinking of those boxes! They will be there when I get there. One thing at a time!

Holiday Hype Prayer

Dear God,

Please help me to keep my focus on you this holiday season. I'm asking you to control my thoughts and actions and allow me to bring you glory through everything I do - my planning, cooking, decorating, and family gatherings. Please allow me to be the light you want me to be - the light of the world. Lead me and guide me as I begin my steps to make this a joyous occasion and remain stress free! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Holiday Hype Step II - Organize

I was at a friend's home recently and she showed me all the Christmas containers and boxes she had in her garage. There were a total of 20. Yes, I counted because I couldn't believe it! None of them were labeled and I begin to cringe at the thought of going through my few unlabeled boxes to see just what I had. I never remember from one Christmas to the next what I have and opening boxes is...just like Christmas!! My next step is to organize all my holiday decorations (Thanksgiving and Christmas), and label any boxes that aren't labeled and throw out any broken or unwanted items. Are you already organized? That's GREAT!! I will be NEXT year (smile). Knowing exactly what I have will prevent me from spending money as the stores are already directing my attention to beautiful trees and decorations. I won't fall for it this year. I'll have to be disciplined enough to separate my wants from my needs. Seeing all the beautiful, colorful decorations puts us in the spirit to spend! It's a trap!! I'll go shopping in my own boxes and get excited about what I already have, then maybe I'll purchase a few items in my own time - not impulse. This step should be completed within the next couple of weeks - AUUGH!! It's either now or later and later means STRESS! Stay tuned for Step III, which is a lot of fun!

Holiday Hype Step I - PRAY

Let’s get this party started! It’s November and time to prepare for the holiday hype! Get on the train and buckle up because we’re going full speed ahead! Actually, this train can go as fast or as slow as we want it to – we own the speed control. My plan is to have a simple, yet momentous holiday season. For some reason right before each holiday, my plans change and simplicity turns into complexity, which invites stress. Not this year! I know I won’t be able to stick to my plans without the help of the Lord, so my first step is to PRAY. I’ll be praying to keep my focus on what the true meaning of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year’s celebration is. I’ll pray to be disciplined enough to stick to my plans, and also praying that this season will be full of memories my family will enjoy and remember for years to come. Having total dependence on God to lead, guide, and direct me every step of the way is the key. I’m excited and I feel secure knowing I will keep my peace of mind and remain stress free. I’ve never actually prayed for God’s help before the holidays, so I’m already off to a great start. This will be a blessed holiday season full of fun, memories, and especially giving God glory!

Holiday Hype

Steps for keeping our peace of mind during the Holiday Hype will begin November 1st.

I'm A Survivor

It amazes me how women still think I have it altogether after sharing my struggles and trials week after week. I am far from being at home praising the Lord all day and never losing control. Before the Lord allows me to share any meditation, I am tested and tried, and then after I share with you and boldly quote scripture, I am tested and tried again. I reflect on past meditations and I still struggle with my character, raising my children, accepting others, keeping my home clean, busyness, taking time for myself, maintaining my temple (I have my first mammogram today), and my marriage. After last week’s meditation on husbands, the enemy got busy! I could only laugh as I recalled the countless emails I received from women who are battling to save their marriage. Of course I still have struggles in my marriage! Please, don’t think you’re alone.

Through all my tests and trials, my faith in God is strengthened, my character is refined, and my witness is stronger. Yes, I get weary; yet standing on God’s promises gives me strength to endure. The battles will continue to come as long as I strive to be a Godly wife and mother, yet The Lord promised He would not put more on me than I can bear – sometimes I wonder, yet I’m still standing! Battles come one after another, yet He allows me to catch my breath and gird up for the next bout. He knows exactly what trials I need in my life to be the woman He created me to be - all things really do work for our good. I am a work in progress. I guess appearing to have it altogether is a witness in itself – no matter what comes my way, I am a survivor by the grace of God. The only way the enemy can win is if I give up and I’m in this race until the end. Do I have it altogether? No, but God keeps me together – He holds me up and through Him…I have the victory!

II Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV)
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…”

Holiday Hype

It's not even November yet and I already feel the hustle from the Holiday season. Good grief! Since I feel this pre-season pressure, I'll have to acknowledge it and do something to prevent it. I'm going to start slowing down right now. I refuse to get caught up in the hype of the holidays - it just doesn't make sense. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years Eve/Day and all that comes with the season should definitely be a joyous time in our life with family and friends, yet we often lose focus on the reason for the celebration and get busy doing STUFF that isn't really necessary. This season I'll KEEP my peace of mind and be stress free. Stay tuned for a series on the Holiday Hype and how to keep your peace!

I Understand

I've received several comments from the blog titled What About Me, which was also a Monday Meditation for MOMSWEB. I appreciate all the comments I received in my personal email and also via the blog.
Marriage is a touchy subject among women and we won't always agree. We all experience some form of hurt or pain in our marriage - a perfect marriage doesn't exist. Please don't allow anyone to tell you whether to stay or leave your marriage. YOU are the one that has to sleep with your man. YOU are the one that has to see his face everyday. YOU are the one that may be frustrated and sick and tired of being sick and tired. YOU are the one that has to live with your decision. I've been there. As for me, I chose to stay. God gave me the endurance to stay when I truly wanted to walk away. I've had sleepless nights, made myself sick from stress, cried, and questioned God - why do you have me here? Is this really my husband? Why am I going through this? How much longer must I deal with him? I can only speak of what I know and God has shared his mercy on my marriage. God has blessed me and brought my marriage to a place I never thought was possible. It is hard to believe, yet I serve a God who has ALL POWER. I serve a God who has blessed me with PERFECT PEACE after pure hell in my marriage. The choice is yours! May God bless you and also give you perfect peace in your marriage.

A Wife's Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Help me to love my husband the way you love him. Help me to see him through your eyes. Help me to show him the same patience, long-suffering, and compassion you continually show me. I love him and I want to be the wife he needs in his life. Have mercy on me as I strive to do the right thing. Help me to be the wife you called me to be and not the wife I think I should be. Have your way, Lord. Have your way with my marriage and allow me to glorify you in all I do. Amen.

What About Me?

All men have an issue - alcohol, drugs, pornography, wondering eyes, rubber necks, sloppiness, lack of table manners, foul language, egotistical attitude, workaholic, or just plain lazy - pick one. A perfect man doesn’t exist. Learning to love everything about my husband that irritates me is drawing me closer to the Lord. I know in order to love Kevin with the love of Jesus, I need to be completely consumed by the Holy Spirit - only Jesus knows real love. Letting go and letting God is real to me. Once I allowed Jesus to deal with Kevin’s issues, my job as his wife became easier. I was no longer the self-appointed judge pointing out his faults. The more Christ-like I am towards my husband, the more Christ reveals Himself in our marriage.

Most women want to marry a man who has it all together. Oftentimes, the Lord will use a woman to help these hidden diamonds through their rough stages. We are the buffer to help them shine. Just as Jesus accepted us as we were and gave us unconditional, long-suffering love, we must also learn to love our man. For the single women wondering if Mr. Right is out there, you may be the kiss of life a confused frog is waiting for. We are helpmates – help him!

Sunday morning my husband told me to rest and that he would cook breakfast for the family. I wondered if he was setting me up for something, yet I accepted the invitation with pleasure. Kevin has been more attentive to my needs lately and it’s because one factor has changed – me. The more I humble myself and put his needs first without having a ‘what about me’ attitude, the more considerate he is of my needs. I’m a witness; endurance pays off. I contemplated leaving my marriage many times…thank God for Jesus because I would have missed seeing my diamond shine. Watching the process is a blessing in itself! Keep praying for your husband and ask God to show you the changes needed in you first and watch what happens! God rewards faithfulness.

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Control Your Day!

It's another day and another week full of responsibilities, tasks, errands to run, people to see, and places to go. Looking at the big picture and the list of things to do can be overwhelming. Do what is necessary and enjoy the day. Grasp each moment! Begin your day with a Christ-controlled attitude. Being a member of the GMC Club only makes matters worse. What’s the GMC Club? It’s the club of Grumblers, Mumblers, and Complainers. We know certain things MUST be done, so we might as well learn to enjoy them. Control your day; don’t let your day control you!

Super Hero

Super Hero Movies have never been able to capture my attention, yet yesterday I watched Spider Man II with my youngest son and his friend. Although Spider Man had amazing spider-like abilities, he had two people in his life to encourage, edify, and empower him to believe in himself. It is no coincidence these two people were women. My husband joined me for the later part of the movie and as Spider Man’s friend confirmed her love and commitment to him, Spider Man appeared to make even greater leaps from building to building. My husband commented on the power and influence women have over men. It’s funny how men recognize the power women possess, yet we have to be reminded of the power within us. Spider Man has nothing on us! We have the Spirit of God! We have the power to influence young minds, change the atmosphere in our homes, and empower our husbands to be all they were created to be. We have the power to lead others to Christ and to make a difference in the lives of many. Mothers truly hold the supernatural power to change the Nation! Even the enemy knows the power we possess, which is why we are constantly under attack – Satan will try everything to strip us of our power. At one point in the movie, Spider Man felt defeated, yet he was empowered by encouraging words. When we feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated, we can reconnect to our power source. The key is to never become disconnected! Continually feeding our hearts and minds with God’s Word fuels us with the supernatural power we need to be mentoring moms, supportive helpmates, and influential women of God. We have the power to work in the name of Jesus!

Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…”

Dust Bunnies

Instead of looking for a seat at the 8 a. m. worship service, I was looking for a parking spot at Walmart at 6 a.m. to purchase cleaning supplies. The Lord told me He did not want one word of praise or one act of worship until I got my house in order, therefore, my family went to church and I stayed home to clean - I received a personal lesson on my lifestyle of worship. I’ll spare you the details and myself some embarrassment, yet the dust bunnies were setting up house. I’ve been out of town the past two weekends and my home has been neglected. Good excuse huh? If you were to come into my home, you definitely would not see a mess - I always make sure the entrance is presentable, however, if you were to take a walk down the hallway and look to the left or to the right, you’d see something a little different. After I thought about it, how could I get dressed to attend worship service and leave my house a mess? Actually it’s quite easy…it would simply be another game of charades and appearing to have it all together. I’ve done it before and felt absolutely no guilt, yet I thank God for getting my attention and correcting me. My home should be a reflection of a Godly Woman. No, it won’t always be spotless, yet should represent the family of God - not the family of slobs. The woman sets the tone in the house, so there will be some changes in my home and the changes will begin with me. What standards am I setting for my children? What standards am I setting for other mothers? What standards do I have for myself? This is another area of my life needing correction and I will obey. Dust bunnies don’t travel alone and neither does sin. Every area of my life, small and large, influences my entire witness.

I Corinthians 5:6 (NKJV)
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven (like yeast) leavens the whole lump?

Can't Sleep

Having trouble sleeping at night? I use to wake up in the early hours and wonder why the Lord had me up at 3 o'clock in the morning? I've gotten myself into the habit of waking up to pray. Whether we choose to believe it's nerves, hormones, or something we ate - waking up in the wee hours of the morning is a good time to pray! Our lives are so full of LIFE, that God has to compete with noise, people in our ear, worry, people in our ear, errands, housework, people in our ear, appointments, television, radio, people in our ear, etc... When does God get our undivided attention? When I'm awaken in the middle of the night, I believe God is ushering me to his throne. I may not understand what is going on that needs prayer, yet that's okay. I go into my children's room to pray for them, I pray for my husband and our marriage, I pray for covering of my home, I pray for protection, wisdom in raising my children, compassion to love my husband when he's not lovable, to be more Christ-Controlled, and whatever else the Lord brings to mind. I also pray for individuals outside of my family that come to mind. After I pray, I praise God for my many, many blessing and the storm I may be going through or about to go through. You know, praise runs the enemy away! After this time of prayer and praise, I go back to bed and I sleep like a baby. I've been doing this for a few years now and it's been a blessing to me and my family benefits! Pray without ceasing!

Invisible Mother

Mothers can easily be invisible around the home. So often, the things we do go unnoticed until something is out of place or left un-done. How did those clothes get washed? Where did that dinner come from? The bathroom sure is sparkling! Not being acknowledged can leave feelings of discouragement or frustration. Do you remember when you began to fully appreciate your mother? Probably in your older years or even when you left the house and had children of your own. We have to remind ourselves who we are working for and where the true appreciation comes from. It comes from our boss - Jesus Christ. Not only is He the one to reward us, yet He is the only one to judge us on our performance. Jesus will give us the comfort and care we desire in this demanding role of motherhood - the role He created! The next time you feel invisible, remember Jesus sees everything you do. EVERYTHING!

Get Away From Me

Yesterday I couldn’t find a minute to myself. Every time I prepared to sit and exhale, the phone would ring, the dryer timer would buzz, or my children were calling my name. By evening time, I was desperate for a minute and I refused to go to the bathroom to get it (smile). I knew the minute was somewhere hiding in one of the many rooms in my home. I had schooled, cleaned, chauffeured, and played. I was pooped and wanted to be alone. My need for that one-minute becomes more crucial when that special time of the month is approaching. After the boys had bathed and said goodnight, I got on the floor to do some exercising. I exhaled as I enjoyed the peace of mind although my husband was in the room watching television. I knew he wouldn’t disturb me, so I was safe. Within five seconds my oldest comes into the room and drops on the floor next to me. Yes, he had already said goodnight, so what was he doing up? My children have radar and I honestly believe they think my ‘me' time is a personal threat to them. Maybe my ‘me’ time is an actual person to them and they think they have to compete with it. Maybe they think ‘me’ time will take their time. Before I knew it, I snapped at my son and said, “Get away from me!” He quietly walked away because he knew Mama reached her limit and nothing else needed to be said. All I wanted was a minute and yes, I found my minute!! I felt like a different person and I know the exercise helped to change my feeling of irritability also. I use to feel guilty for that one minute, yet I’ve realized my ‘me’ time isn’t for me after all, but for the well being of my family! Mama needs her minute!

No Coincidence

Once again, I began an exercise regime that seems to be working for me. I'm so tired of starting off strong with good intentions only to stop after a week or two. The Lord is making sure I stick to it this time. I was recently asked to facilitate an Integrity Class at my church and my first lesson was on commitment. As I led the class in making a list of items we were most and least committed to, the Holy Spirit began to work. Exercise topped my list of things least committed to and as I shared my list with the class, others agreed. While expressing the importance of being committed to caring for our temple, I had a defining moment on being an example for the Lord and practicing what I preach. My younger sister told me no woman over a size 12 wants to hear me talk about diet and exercise because of my small frame, yet I am not excused from glorifying God in this area of my life. I received a call from a friend this morning reminding me of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and how we need to do our part to prevent illness and disease in order to be around for our husbands and children. This phone call was no coincidence. Another friend sends me email reminders on the importance of mammograms - this is no coincidence. My father faithfully walks eight to ten miles every day regardless of the weather - this is no coincidence. I have several friends who are Cancer Survivors or are now being treated for cancer - this is no coincidence. The Lord choosing me to facilitate the class on Integrity to get my attention on commitment is no coincidence. Yes, the signs are there. How many chances will the Lord give me? He’s given me several and I thank God for His mercy. I know the awesome benefits of exercise and proper nutrition and I also know the Holy Spirit cannot reign in an unkempt temple - my temple is a little raggedy. I must be an example across the board as a Godly Woman - not just in a few areas of my life. I must be an example for my children and also be in a position to teach the younger women in my life. Will you join me as I make a commitment to be a faithful servant in regards to caring for my body - His temple? If you're already there, God bless you! Please encourage another woman to do the same!

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

Stress Buster

I was speaking to a mother yesterday who has two full time positions outside of the home and returns home each day physically and mentally drained. I remember being in the military and coming home feeling the same way. I had little to give and prayed as I summoned the energy to offer to my real job - my family. It seemed they got my leftovers, yet it was all I had to give – I did my best. Women are natural workers – hard workers. Sometimes we have to be told to slow down or STOP! Super Mom Syndrome causes stress and stress causes illness. Exercise is a great stress buster. I’ve started an exercise regime (again), and I’m reminded how exercise relieves stress and irritability. Amazing!! I also have more energy at the end of the day. I’m doing the exercising right in my home - sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, running in place, dancing, light weights, and whatever else I can do to help myself. I refuse to spend money on another body gadget to sit in the corner and look at me. Our family depends on us and so does our body, so taking care of it NOW will definitely pay off later. What is your stress buster?

The Sacrificial Mother

While having casual conversation with several mothers on the football field last week, one mother shared how her sister recently found out she was pregnant. We all expressed our excitement until the pregnant sister’s age was revealed – 46 years old. Yes, this woman is pregnant at age forty-six. Reality set in. I’m forty-three. Hmmm…my excitement turned to apprehension. Our conversation turned to the topic of the sacrifice mothers make for our children. Is it really a sacrifice or is it our calling? Is the job over when they turn eighteen or is this a freedom card we play? Do our children owe us anything for the nine months we carried them? The labor we endured? The nights we pray for them, doctor them, and hold them? Will we look for appreciation when they get older or will we be satisfied knowing we did our best? Looking at a woman’s life through our carnal eyes, it does seem like women get the short end of the stick. Our whole life is taking care of others - our children, our husbands, our parents, and then the grandchildren come. If we look at our life through the eyes of God, we have another viewpoint. We are CHOSEN to care for God’s children! We are His babysitters! His caretakers! What an honor to be chosen to love, raise, and, nurture His children! It’s a high calling. The true sacrifice is when we surrender ourselves to be used by God for His glory. Do you feel you are making a sacrifice as a mother?

Casting My Cares!

Sitting on the edge of my bed this morning at 4:45 a.m., I felt overwhelmed with what the day held and I already felt TIRED. I didn't feel very thankful for another day, nor was my mind Christ-Controlled as I struggled to pray for strength. I wanted to go back to bed - I was TIRED! I watched my husband limp around our bedroom with a painful knee, so I knew this was not the morning to skip cooking breakfast for him. I wondered if he considered how I felt after a busy weekend...I'm TIRED! Realizing I was wasting my time wondering if anyone cared, I walked out of my bedroom and heard music coming from my sons' bedroom. I always turn their stereo off when they fall asleep, yet they sometimes turn it back on in the middle of the night. I stood outside their door listening to Ruben Studdard's version of I Surrender All...this was God's perfect timing. Tears began to roll as I listened to the words of this comforting hymn. I felt like Jesus was giving me a big hug and infusing me with His love, strength, energy, and power. Yes, somebody does care - Jesus! At this moment, I surrendered the cares of the day and myself to Him. The loads of laundry, cooking breakfast for my husband and again for the boys, home schooling, tasks to complete for MOMSWEB, never-ending housework, phone calls and emails to answer, deciding what to cook for dinner, friends needing help, my weariness, and every other worldly matter on my mind was handed right over to the Lord. My weight was lifted and I was able to begin my day. Knowing I can cast my cares on the Lord and depend on Him to work through me and for me, gives me the supernatural power I need to go on in His name. Hold me up, Holy Ghost!

Christ Controlled

Although my children are home educated, they attend school once a week and I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with our once a week morning routine on a daily basis. Thank you, Lord! My eight year old still has no sense of time, so he feels he can wake up and sit, maybe even casually sit and read. My ten-year old is forgetful and last week he forgot his lunch. Sometimes on our drive to school, I’ll look in the back seat and realize someone has not brushed his hair. These are small things, yet when there are several small things in a small period of time, it can be annoying. I pray out loud to keep calm and to allow the boys to hear my prayers for them and for myself. I also pray to keep a Christ-Controlled attitude. Knowing I can depend on Jesus to keep me pleasant in the midst of craziness is a comfort in itself. It’s easy to permit small matters to steal our peace of mind and the stability of our home. Things happen and our reaction to these things is what is important. We don’t want to embarrass the family of God or be a bad example to our children. Actions speak louder than words and children repeat what they see and hear. A Christ-Controlled attitude makes a Christ-Controlled home.

A Woman's Work...

...Is never done! I always try to have the right attitude in regards to my work as a Godly Woman. Not a better attitude, yet the RIGHT attitude. It’s so easy to grumble and complain; yet a Godly Woman must always represent Christ. Whether you sit behind a desk all day, deal with clients throughout the day, or work inside your home, all work should be done with a Godly attitude and to the glory of God. It’s difficult some days to wake up to the same mundane chores, yet Jesus is the King of Mundane. Every morning He changes the darkness to light. Every morning He touches us to wake us. Every morning He is our sufficiency for food and shelter. Every morning he wakes the birds and directs them to their food. Every morning...we can go on and on and on. When I consider the Lord of my Life and all he has done and is doing for me and my family, the very least I can do is have a Godly attitude while doing the work I’m blessed to have the ability to do. What a blessing to be a steward over the home God has blessed us with. What a blessing to have clothes to wear daily and a machine to wash them in! What a blessing to have food to eat and a sink with clean water to wash them in! What a blessing to have plumbing and a toilet in the house to use – Yeah, I’ll clean it!!! Windows? I’m not there yet (smile). Thank God for our work, which in fact...is never done!

Out of Control

I received an email from a mother who said she felt like she was out of control being the mother of three little ones. All mothers feel out of control at one point or another. We wouldn't be human if we didn't. I felt out of control this morning as I looked at my laundry and the mess around me that needed cleaning. Sometimes just the thought of our responsiblities can be overwhelming, which is why it is best to take one task at a time and do what is necessary first. Take a deep breath, relax, and pray the Lord will order your every step. Sometimes I don't know whether to cook, clean, or wash clothes first, so I ask for guidance from my Creator. He knows my capabilities and my limitations and I am powerless without Him! Once I cast my cares on Him, I feel less tension and anxiety. Teaching my children is a huge responsibility within itself and it is done around my housework. Mothers ask me all the time how I do it - I don't! Jesus does it through me. I'm clueless!! I'm out of control until I give Jesus control!

Evening Prayer

Thank you for this day, Lord. Thank you for watching over my family and keeping us safe. Thank you for being with us as we drove from place to place and allowing us to arrive safely at our destinations. I love you, Lord. Thank you for a warm, comfortable home to relax in. Thank you for clean water to bathe in. Thank you for a bed to sleep in. As I prepare to end my day, be with me as I sleep. Enter my dreams and renew my mind, my strength, and my energy. If it's your will for me to see tomorrow's day, I will give you the glory, honor, and praise for your grace and mercy. I thank you for everything that happened today. Thank you for my family. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that continues to cover us. Thank you for the angels standing watch over us and thank you for the Holy Spirit that was with us every step of the way. Thank you Lord, for this day. Amen.

Surrender Prayer

Dear God,

I surrender my day to you. My goals, my tasks, my desires, my day planner appointments, my wants, and my will - I give to you. Have your way with me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and order my steps. Consume my thoughts, my actions, and even my emotions with your Spirit. Help me to keep my mind on you as I work, cook, clean, drive, teach, encourage, and do all you have planned for me today. I love you, Lord. You know what's best for my family and me, so I surrender my family, my husband, and my children to you - they belong to you. Help me to be the empty vessel you desire as I strive to be the wife and mother you've called me to be. Use me for your glory! Lord, have your way in and through my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Today's Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I come to you in the name of Jesus thanking you for waking me up this morning. Thank you for starting my day with my health and strength. Thank you for the ability to dress myself, to feed myself, and to care for my family. Thank you for access to your throne of grace and mercy. Have your way with me today. Order my steps. Guide me, lead me, and please protect me. I thank you for the blood you shed for me. Please cover my home with the blood and keep us from the plans and snares of the enemy. Guard my children's hearts and minds. Keep my husband from temptation and give me peace and patience with everything that comes my way this day. I love you Lord and I ask you to fill me with your Spirit. Help me to show love, to be love, and accept love in your name. Amen.

Just As I Am

I'm having some plastic surgery done and it's been quite painful. The surgery is on my personality. In order for me to genuinely accept another woman for who she is and where she is in her life, I must be absolutely honest about who I am. As the Lord continues to expose and cut the ugliness out of my personality, I’m slooowly learning to enjoy my own gender. I almost hate to admit it, yet one of the reasons revealed to me as to why I don’t take pleasure in the company of women is because I see myself in them. Ouch! Why do I refuse to accept the fact that I am one of these women I don’t care to be around? Am I so holy that I can’t be in their company? Jesus talked with everybody and went everywhere with a mission to share His love. Who am I to select the location and surroundings to share God’s love? This weekend I received an invitation to a jewelry party and I was relieved to have two scheduled football games to serve as my excuse to decline the invitation. Little did I know the Lord would have one game cancelled and also have someone offer to pick me up. I was out of excuses, so I attended and had a wonderful time. With various ages, races, and backgrounds present, we talked and laughed about everything from death to sex after sixty - jewelry was not the topic. The gathering was unlike any I’ve been to before because my idealized image and self - righteous attitude were not invited. I’ve always heard that people we don’t like have a lot of our own qualities in them - I’m convinced of this. I thank God for accepting me just as I am. I thank God for using me in spite of who I am. I especially thank God for saving me and not leaving me just as I am. This is obviously my season for plastic surgery in order to look, act, and walk more like Jesus. It’s painful, yet there is power in pain!


I’m trying to practice what I preach and I’m the first to tell other women the importance of properly caring for themselves. I’m usually the last person in the house to go to bed at night, yet last evening I was the first and it felt good! I left my husband and the boys up watching the football game. There was plenty around the house I could have done; yet my body was screaming for rest and I listened. Not getting the proper rest makes us quite irritable whether we realize it or not. Getting more rest may be the answer to some of a woman’s moodiness – not all of it, but some of it (smile). Some of us have the ‘tired’ look. We look as if they are burning the candle at both ends, which may be the case, yet getting the proper rest may help soften this ‘tired’ look. Our rest is important for many reasons. They don’t call it beauty rest for nothing! It’s funny how we ensure our children get proper rest, yet we forget we are human also – we often function on fumes! If we are always late to bed and early to rise, it will definitely take a toll on our body. How we treat our body today will determine how it treats us tomorrow. What is your bedtime?

Playing Catch Up!

I made sure I would have a relaxing Labor Day Weekend and I did. I enjoyed company, reading, spent time with my husband and children, and even had a nap or two! The entire weekend was a blessing and now I’m paying for it. I have loads of laundry to wash, fold, and put away – I’m playing catch up. A woman’s work is never done and I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to walk away from it - It will definitely be there when we return!! There were so many dishes to wash this weekend, I used the dishwasher and washed by hand a few times and STILL ended up leaving some dishes in the sink last night. So what if there is a plate or two in the sink? So what if the bathroom - mirror needs cleaning? So what if there is a pile of linen on my bed to be folded? The price I’m paying for having a good time was well worth it because I realized something – my house will never be completely clean, so why stress? Yes, I love a clean house and I especially love a clean kitchen, yet being here all day makes it almost impossible. My home will always look lived in (smile). The weekend is over and it’s time to catch up and get back into the normal routine! ! It’s true; a woman’s work is never done.

Cheese or Chili Fries?

My mother gave me a book titled, Woman to Woman, several years ago and recently I’ve been led to revisit the book. The book speaks of having a Christ-centered personality. Little did I know the Lord was preparing me for this past weekend as I worked in a ball field concession stand with several other women. I had the pleasure of working next to a woman with a very sour attitude. She was a hard worker, yet her attitude overshadowed her performance. She wasn’t pleasant at all and I couldn’t get her to return a smile - I would have to paint it on her myself. At one point, this woman turned her back to me and on the back of her t-shirt was wording about casting out devils. Hmmm...I made a point to view the front of her t-shirt and sure enough there was a picture of a Bible with more wording. I then heard her say something about Jesus. As I prepared to privately judge this strange woman, the Holy Spirit made me check myself. What kind of demeanor did I have in the hot, busy, chaotic concession stand as I fried fries and received orders for chili fries and cheese fries? Was there a pleasant look on my face or was I frowning? Was I kind to the other women as they shouted orders at me or was I snapping back? Was my light shining or are they wondering if I’m a Christian? I thought about Woman to Woman and immediately asked the Lord to help me have a Christ-centered personality in my present, undesirable situation. I prayed without ceasing and kept my focus on the Lord - this was necessary to avoid embarrassing the family of God. It's so easy to watch someone else, yet there is always someone watching me. It's also easy to be a t-shirt Christian, yet I'd rather be a Christian from the inside out. Dear Lord, help me to have a Christ-centered personality. Cover me with your character and let my light shine at all times!

Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

It's Not About Me

My sons’ first football season has turned out to be more than just playing football. A couple weeks ago my husband handed me 20 raffle tickets and told me we had to sell them – we being my son and I. Excuse me? I didn’t sign him up for football, so why do I have to be the one to sell the tickets? His reasoning was because he worked all day and I was at home. Okay, I want to stay married, so I’ll leave the ticket topic alone. Later on, we find out the parents have to work the concession stand in addition to selling the tickets. Excuse me? Okay, I’ll help work the concession stand if my husband partners in selling the tickets. Later on, we find out since the boys are on separate teams, the fundraising events are separate for each team and now there is cookie dough to be sold. Lord, what about me! Is there anything else I need to do to help me enjoy this eventful football season? Why didn’t somebody tell me? Oh well, what am I being reminded of during this process? IT’S NOT ABOUT ME...this is part of being a sacrificial mother. This season of my motherhood journey is about putting my desires, goals, and ambitions on the back burner until I raise the children God placed in my care. Yes, it’s a big slice of humble pie to eat, however, they are only children once and I am a Servant of God for a lifetime. Lord, give me strength to keep on keeping on!

A Weary Woman

Just when I get in my complaining mode and think of people to invite to a personal pity party, the Lord of my life steps in with a special world for me. He doesn’t like it when I have these parties (smile). Yesterday I was led to clean some areas in my home that have been neglected. I can’t blame it on football season because these areas were neglected before the boys’ practice season began. There was so much to do and I’ve allowed the dust bunnies to have their way. They are the ones having the party!! Anyway, after a full day of cleaning, it didn’t look like I had accomplished much and I was quite tired. This morning I looked at my unfinished mess and immediately felt exhausted, so I sat down to have my morning meditation. I was reminded how we are promised rest. The Lord said he would give us rest, so I decided to marinate on His promise. Most of our weariness is internal and as I concentrated on the fact that Jesus lives within me and He is my rest and peace, my weariness began to lift. Yes, I’m ready to begin another day of home-keeper responsibilities. It’s true that a woman’s work is never finished; yet thank God we don’t have to depend on our own power and determination. There is a higher power source that we can plug into!

One Minute

Is it wrong to desire to be alone for just a minute? I don’t need all day – just a minute or two would suffice. A minute to put my feet up, read a book, watch a show on television (I like the Food Network), or just look at the walls without being disturbed would be nice. Many mothers feel guilty when they voice their desire to be alone, yet we are human – not super-human. We give, give, and give, so why would it be wrong to desire a minute of quietness to refuel so we can continue giving? It is a blessing to be needed by our family and friends, yet if we aren’t careful, they can drain us of every ounce of energy and time we have. Sometimes I wonder if my family wants me to have time alone. They seem to always find something to ask or show me, yet I’ve learned to turn them away until later without feeling guilty. I really get time alone in the shower. I escape to do-nothing, hear-nothing land in the world of aromatherapy and it is heaven! My husband says my showers are getting longer and longer, yet I come out feeling renewed and refreshed! If we don’t care for ourselves first, we are in no condition to care for others. We don’t have to leave the house to find a minute alone either – everyone doesn’t have this privilege. The important thing is to understand how beneficial a minute alone is to you and your family. Once we understand the value in this minute, others will value our minute alone also.

Extra Ounce of Grace

Before football season began, I would try to have the boys in bed no later than 8:30 p.m., now we aren’t getting home from practice until after eight! Last night as I sat on the sofa folding clothes at almost 9 p.m., I knew I had a couple more active hours in my evening, yet I was already drained. A full day of schooling the children, cooking, laundry, cleaning, plus I kept my two month old God-son who was uncomfortable all day because of gas – bless his heart. I was TIRED! My husband was working out and asked for something light to eat, so instead of being selfish and going into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich, I decided to make us both a salad. As I washed the lettuce, I asked God to give me a filling of His Spirit to get me through the rest of the evening. The boys were winding down from practice, yet were as chatty as if it were the middle of the afternoon. My prayers allowed my irritability to turn into calmness and my anxiety to get the boys in bed turned into contentment for the moment – nothing BUT the grace of God. I know God gives Mothers an extra ounce of grace to do all we are called to do. His grace is sufficient! I didn’t get to spend time doing what I wanted to do, yet I was at peace and grateful that I completed what was necessary. Our Lord is definitely a present help in the time of need if we just remember to call on Him. We were on our knees saying our family prayer at ten o’clock. This was a little later than I’d care for, yet this is just for a season – football season.

An Intimate Moment

Saturday morning I got out of bed shortly after 5 a.m. and quietly showered and dressed, so I wouldn’t wake my sleeping husband. I felt like I was being sneaky because I was preparing to spend some time with my first love and my husband wasn’t aware of this. I sat in my living room fully dressed and mentally preparing myself for the unplanned visit. This isn’t something I normally do on a weekend morning, yet my friend called and I didn’t hesitate to answer. My friend’s name is Jesus. We usually meet every weekday morning, yet He wanted some consecrated time Saturday. It was extremely quiet in the room - no television, radio, telephone, children laughing, husband talking, no Bible reading, no praying…just His powerful presence and imagining myself at His feet. After a while, my husband came looking for me and I had a big smile on my face – I was refreshed, rejuvenated, renewed and ready to tackle the day before the sun came up. Throughout the day, I smiled as I thought about how my first love touched me very early to spend time with Him. He loves me! It was a very spontaneous intimate moment. It leaves me speechless that Jesus desires to spend time with me more than I want to spend time with Him and I need Him! If it were up to me, I would have slept in. His unconditional love is mind-blowing. I think back on the day I accepted Him in my heart...my every thought and word was about Jesus. Nothing else mattered except being in His presence. This weekend I was reminded that the same love and quality time I want from my husband, Jesus wants from me - consecrated, contemplated time.

Labor Day

Laundry, cooking, cleaning, laundry, cooking, cleaning…it goes on and on and on. Labor Day is every day for mothers and if we aren’t careful, we can obtain an ugly attitude around the house as we pick up for and behind others. It’s a challenge everyday, yet having the right attitude about our never-ending tasks sure makes them a lot easier to deal with. I use to pray to find joy in cleaning toilets and washing the dirty laundry and dishes that never stop coming, yet realizing I have the ability to do laundry and dishes for my family is enough to be excited about. Everyone is not able. Thank God I have a washer and dryer! Knowing I have laundry to wash means we have clothes to wear – many clothes. That is something else to be grateful for. Dirty dishes? We had food to eat! I think we get the message. Instead of complaining about our Labor Days, be joyful that we have them and have the strength, energy, and power to labor!! We might as well make peace with our labor days because they are here for the rest of our lives. Happy Labor Day!

How Will I Know?

Two of my young friends left for college this weekend and I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t imagine what the mothers of these girls were feeling as they left for the real world. I often wonder about my sons leaving home and I’ll probably need a sedative. Will I have said and done everything I was supposed to? Did I prepare them properly? I always tell myself I have one chance at raising my boys – there is no rewinding the clock. With this in mind, I glanced at the clock and realized it was late and also dark outside. The boys know to be on their way inside when the streetlights come on, so I decided to test them to see just how long they would stay outside. I practically beg them to do the right thing to prevent punishment, but it doesn't work. My dear husband has a habit of protecting the boys from their mother’s wrath, so he used his signature whistle for them to come in, yet his defense backfired because they didn’t answer. Much later, they finally came in. I stared at them without a word as they stood before me. The youngest had a look of guilt and the oldest looked at me as if I was the one with the problem. I don’t expect them to always obey, yet they will have consequences for their actions. When it’s time for my children to leave home, I may not know if they’ll make the right decisions, yet I’ll know I’ve taught them right from wrong. I may not know what the future holds for them, yet I know if I do my part, God will do His – He promised! Just as God corrects us, we must train and correct our children - it only makes them better.

Proverbs 22:15 (NKJV)
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him."

Babbling Brooks

I have a ten year old who is a true talker and an eight year old who still asks why I do and say the things I do. Auuugh! I’m basically a quiet person and being around someone who talks all day is definitely a growing pain for me. I’m actually growing to learn to listen and yes, it hurts. Everyday is a new set of creative stories and this morning my youngest asked me why I sighed. Help me, Lord! Do I have to answer to every move I make and every breath I take? I’m so grateful that they enjoy sharing special moments and ideas with me and I refuse to let them know that sometimes I don’t want to listen. As they grow older, I’ll be praying they come to me with their joys and pains and want them to confide in me, so I better not bend the bond we share. We have what I call ‘space time’ and the three of us go to separate rooms for quiet time. I’m sure they get tired of me also (smile).
My own selfishness of not wanting to be bothered can definitely get in the way of a genuine mother/son relationship. I am their sole confidant for now and although I’m not here to be their friend, I want them to know they always have a friend in me. I’ll gird up and be prepared for the next creative story from my babbling brooks!

Make the Call

A woman’s hormones can make some days better than others. Before you know it, our mind can be overcome by evil thoughts, our spirit feels vexed, and our moods swing up and down like a see saw. Our hormones affect our tolerance levels, patience, and coping skills. Some women have it worse than others, yet there is a possibility of chemical imbalance in each of us at least once a month. Thank God we have minute-by-minute access to the one who can given us the stable manner we all desire. Calling on our Creator invites a sense of calm needed to get through the next minute. The key is to remember to call on Him! If we prolong the call, the unstable minutes keep coming and our actions and words tend to get out of control. This can become a pattern and before you know it, our disposition becomes a hostile one. Our minute-by-minute access to the throne is the key to our stability and peace of mind. Don’t wait until you’ve done something you regret to call; make it a habit to call on him and keep Him on your mind at all times. When we get out of control, somewhere along the day, we’ve taken our focus off Him. Have you called on Him today?

Prayer and Children

Our children will take us to our knees if we’ve never been there before. The developmental years, adolescent years, and the teenage years plus everything else in between brings issues, situations, and concerns capable of knocking us off our feet or dropping us to our knees. I believe in the power of prayer over our children’s lives and I’m also aware of the consequences in the lack of prayer for our children! Already, mothers are stressing school year attitudes, dispositions, and moods. We can turn our stress into rest through prayer. Talking doesn’t change anything; discipline lasts only for so long, yet prayer invites lifestyle changes. Pray for and with your children before school, pray and thank God for their safety when they return home, pray with them when they begin their homework, pray with them over dinner, pray with them in the evening as they recap their day, pray for their friends and teachers, and pray with them at bedtime. It doesn’t matter the age - prayer is powerful. Children need to know the power of prayer as they deal with peer pressure, encounter personal self-esteem issues, and the changes their minds and bodies experience as they mature into adults. Imagine your life without prayer – a child’s life is just as important.

A Mother's Love

A Mother’s love is the most influential love on the face of the Earth. God has placed within the woman the responsibility to nurture His own, so surely He would give us the resources to get the job done. When a woman acts in her own will with her own determination, she will surely falter, yet when we allow Christ to be the Lord of our life and allow Him to work through us and with us, the love we offer and the power of influence is matchless. A Mother’s love is closer to God’s love than any other. Once we realize we can’t effectively fulfill the role of a mother without God’s power flowing through us, we are on our way to touching and empowering the lives in our care like we never imagined. God is all-powerful and to choose a woman to mother His own, is powerful in itself. My greatest accomplishment was admitting that I am nothing and can do nothing without God. I needed help to do all that God expects me to do – there is no other way. Once we surrender our life and our will to God and allow Him to control our thoughts and actions, our mothering skills will change, our attitude will change, and we'll realize the power placed within us as a woman and as a mother is supreme!

A Burning Desire

I had plans for the upcoming months, which have been put on hold due to my husband signing both our sons up for a very busy season of football. My plans are now to sit at the football field and watch the boys practice four days out of the week with games on Saturdays –two separate teams I might add. Yes, I’ve been silently complaining because there is a burning desire within me to get busy for the Lord. Okay Lord, if this is where you want me, so be it. Needless to say, the Lord assured me the football field is exactly where he wants me. There are so many mothers at these practices that are waiting to be connected or reconnected to the Lord. Many of these mothers are hungry for love and unknowingly desiring an invitation into the family of God – there is work to be done. I had no idea this desire to get busy would result in evangelizing at football practice – how strong is my desire now? So you mean I have to actually talk to these women? I thought this would be my time to find a corner to sit and relax after a full day of teaching, cooking, and cleaning. Yes, the Lord has a sense of humor! He’s allowing me to get busy for him without the busyness. I don’t have to go out to do His work, yet I can do His work while I’m out! The Lord wants me outside the walls of my church, outside my prayer circles, and outside my home. He wants me on the battlefield – the football field. Down, set, hut! I’m looking forward to the assignments before me; is there an assignment waiting for you today?

Foster Parenting

I always wanted to have the house that all the neighborhood children would want to come to and I believe it has happened. Be careful what you ask for! We live in a small neighborhood with very few children and it's very quiet on my street until my children go outside. There is another little boy a couple houses down and he spends alot of time at our home along with their friends from past soccer and baseball teams, church, and friends met through home school activities. It somewhat irritated me that there was ALWAYS someone else in the house and of course I had my favorites that were always welcomed. I began to realize that most of the children that spent time with us were here for one reason - love. My selfishness almost got in the way from the blessing God wanted to give these children through our family. It's always about me isn't it? (smile) Anyway, after working through my self-consumed emotions, I've realized how wonderful it is to be able to spend time with children outside of my own sons and express love. All children are not blessed to live in a healthy family environment, and I've learned to not assume they do. Whether they eat dinner with us or just come over to play, there is always an opportunity to show love to another child - we may be the only expression of love they see. I've always wanted to be a foster parent, and with the number of children that come in and out of our home, I believe I'm already doing it!

School Time Prayers

It’s almost that time of year again and our children, regardless of age, may have a little adrenaline and anxiety running through their veins. Mothers also experience a variety of emotions as we prepare our children for a new school year. Who will their teacher be? What friends will they meet? Will they have trouble this year? Are they ready for a higher grade? Am I prepared for this year? It sure takes a lot more preparation than purchasing school supplies! Ensuring our children are mentally and spiritually prepared is the most important. They’ll be confronted by different personalities, various degrees of morals and values, peers with unconcerned parents, and peer pressure to match the day and age we live in. If you haven’t already been doing this, try praying with your children before they leave for school or before you leave for work. If this doesn’t work in the mornings, pray together at night. Knowing your children are covered in prayer is more than comforting and it makes them aware they have someone higher to answer to besides Mama. Yes, attitudes and disobedience must be confessed. Let your children know God sees everything they do even when parents aren’t around. Just because prayer is taken out of the schools doesn’t mean prayer can’t be in the children. Teaching them the power of a consistent prayer life prepares them for the world. Prayer for good study habits, good friends, good teachers, plus good ATTITUDES are just a few things that should be on our prayer list with our children. Let them see the power of prayer by showing them the power of God as he answers your prayers and begins making wonderful changes in your children.

Peace and Prayer

I use to underestimate the power of prayer. If prayer is our only means of communicating with God, how in the world can we afford NOT to pray? If we have a full day of giving, giving, and more giving to our children, husbands, and other family and friends, it is crucial we begin our day in prayer. Asking our Heavenly Father to give us the strength and energy to get through the day gives us an edge on the day. Asking the Lord to give us an extra portion of patience and understanding increases our border of tolerance – those around us will be grateful (smile). Prayer keeps us focused, sane, and steadfast in our purpose as a woman, wife, and mother. Prayer gives us a calm attitude as unexpected incidents occur throughout the day. Praying in regards to our everyday responsibilities gives us a peace that can’t be explained! Prayer keeps us connected to our power source - God! When someone crosses your mind, say a prayer for him or her! When our children do foolish things, pray for them! When our husbands act like husbands, pray for them! When hormones act up, pray! When the telephone rings with a problem on the other end, say a prayer! Negative thoughts are destructive and they sometimes pop in our minds uninvited, yet they can be kicked out with a simple prayer! Mothers and Prayer are inseparable.

Baby Business

I’m caring for a baby less than two months old today and I’m reminded how much time and attention a baby requires. I remember my firstborn and how I would carry him around in his baby carrier from one room to another so I could prepare bottles, cook, clean, and whatever else I needed to do. Sometimes I would allow Sesame Street to baby-sit him. Having your first baby can be overwhelming as you realize your time is not your own. Time management is the key and it has to be learned. There is no time for sleeping in unless you’re really brave. Early morning risings allow time to prepare for the baby’s waking hours as I hurried to prepare breakfast and clean my home before my little one arrived today. I know he’ll want my undivided attention. Anything else I had planned today will be put on the back burner until he naps, and of course my own children will then want a piece of me (smile). I encourage new mothers as you adjust and adapt to your new role of motherhood. When you begin to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with your never ending tasks, remember your baby is still an innocent bundle of joy and you are not alone in your mixed emotions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and for other mothers, don’t hesitate to offer help!

The Greatness In Mothers

What are we doing with the power God has placed in us as mothers? Are we allowing it to sit dormant within us or are we working in the full power and potential God blessed us with? Mothers have the ability to cause change, and the means to mold minds. Our children are what we make them. What we place in them eventually comes out. Our husbands succeed with the amount of love and support we give them. Our homes maintain the peace we choose to promote. We have greatness in us! We were created to empower and impact those in our home and around us. I did some self-evaluation last night and it continued through the morning. I haven’t been working in my full potential as a mother. I got comfortable with what I was doing obviously thinking it was enough, yet God is never satisfied with mediocre performance. He always wants us to reach higher. Once mothers recognize our own value and power, others will recognize our worth in the world. We have greatness!!

Mom Off Duty

This morning I woke up feeling just a little lazy. Actually, I’d rather refer to the feeling as tired instead of lazy. Can mothers be lazy? Anyway, I decided to retrieve my MOM OFF DUTY Button and place it proudly on my chest. I believe I was given this button on my birthday by one of my sons. I told them I wanted to relax and just put my feet up, which I did. They both cooked their own breakfast, and started on their homework. All of a sudden my oldest began to feel ill, which means I would have to do my DUTY and nurse him back to health. My youngest needed help with spelling, which meant I had to do my DUTY and teach him. I remembered my husband placed wet, sweaty clothes in the washer, which meant I had to do my DUTY and wash them. Okay, when do I get to truly be off duty? Hmmm...I don’t believe it is possible UNLESS the entire family agrees to mom being off duty. I’m working on a project which calls for a little more work than I’d care to give and this of course is added stress in my day, yet it must be done. This added stress invites a teaspoon of irritability and a half-teaspoon of frustration. My hats off to working mothers as I am reminded of my military days; your real job doesn’t begin until you come home from work and you’re already tired! Mom Off Duty? Yeah right! I’ll try another day (smile).

Peace in Puberty!!

It can be difficult to maintain your peace of mind when children are constantly...being children. Disobedience, silly tales and questions, and frolic and fun all day long are just a few things that come with the package. I remember the toddler years being a challenge, yet puberty seems to take on a whole new meaning of ATTITUDE. My goodness! I’m so thankful the Lord reminded me of puberty because my firstborn is ten and I believe he started his change last year and I was unaware. Children go through stages and their thoughts and actions should be expected to change. If we aren’t ready for the changes, we think the child is just being defiant, difficult, or just plain crazy and this can make us crazy! We made a special visit to the library to check out a book on puberty and reading and discussing a chapter everyday has allowed me to strengthen our mother/son bond and open the door to another level in our relationship. I can either make or break his willingness to share with me by how I handle his change. Yes, what I do now will influence our future relationship. I’m doing my best to make our conversations and new words as comfortable for him to discuss as possible. His new body odor, hair growth, private parts having a mind of their own, and his ATTITUDE are new experiences for our household, and we are celebrating the change in our own way...a way to build his self esteem and his confidence as a young man. Peace? I believe puberty prepares mothers for the pre-teen and teenage years if we take notice and use it to our advantage. Preparing for things to come allows us to handle them a whole lot better. Keep the peace in puberty!

The Prince of Peace

Just in case there is doubt in anyone’s mind as to where peace comes from, please know that all peace comes from The Prince of Peace – King Jesus. His name is not the man upstairs, the boss, or my higher power, yet Jesus Christ. There is power in the name alone, so to deny calling His name is to deny the power He offers. All of my help comes from above and I can’t be ashamed to share Jesus because the very breath I take belongs to Him. I am nothing without Him. I was created by Him for Him and all I do is to bring attention to Him – not myself. I can’t take any credit for the peace in my life. Without him my ground is shaken when troubles come, yet with Jesus I stand strong as if nothing is going wrong. My peace is the result of continuous trouble, trials, tribulations, and pain in my life. I’m going through a storm right now and because of my past pain, I have strength – I have peace. There is power in pain, and I am convinced that what God has placed in me will not fail. It doesn’t matter what comes your way, what issues you deal with in your marriage, or the trouble your children are giving you...God’s peace has sustaining power. Call on Him - say His name. Know that your help comes from above; Jesus is your one and only source of Peace, all other sources will crumble and fail you. I’m a witness!

Invited Stress

As mothers, we have an unhealthy practice of inviting unnecessary stress in our lives. Our day can be full of errands, housework, meetings, and our children’s extracurricular activities, yet we will still try to squeeze one more thing in our day to accommodate someone else. There are 24 hours in a day, yet for some reason we need more time to do what needs to be done. Need is the key word – do what is needed – do what’s necessary and everything else can wait. I remember being asked by someone if I had a free day to help with a particular activity. Yes, I had one free day in the week where nothing was scheduled. Normally, I would have been happy to give up that one day, but I’ve learned my lesson. I need to schedule a day for myself as eagerly as I do for others. Sometimes we feel we have to be doing something every day of the week or we’re not being productive. What’s wrong with not having anything to do? I welcome those infrequent days with enthusiasm! When do we take time to rejuvenate ourselves? When do we take time to renew our mind? Think about it...when is the last time you had a day you did absolutely nothing? My sons gave me a button on my birthday that says 'MOM OFF DUTY' and I have to plan those days carefully to make sure I'm definitely OFF DUTY. In order to care for others properly, we must schedule a day (or an hour) for ourselves – guilt free and willingly.

Light A Candle

Aromatherapy does wonders for the home! You’ll be surprised of the calming effects it has on the family – especially the children (smile). Candles invite a relaxing atmosphere to the home. I usually always have a scented candle or simmering potpourri pot going most days. Relaxing, comforting, soothing, you name it; scented candles can be your best friend! Not only are the flickering lights relaxing, the scent of your choice can be relaxing as well. Vanilla and lavender are definitely proven tranquil scents and my favorite. Although candles bring such wonderful moods to the home, please be careful with them. You won’t be able to relax or have any peace if your candle is not out of the reach of children knocking it over or bumping into them. Place your candles away from curtains, plants, pillows, paper, or anything the flickering light can catch onto. Also, never leave candles unattended. Children are attracted to candles for all the wrong reasons, so besides a quick trip to the bathroom, I blow my candles out if they will be out of my sight for any amount of time. Better safe than sorry! If you don’t feel comfortable lighting candles during the day while children are around, by all means, don’t! Many evenings, after my boys are in bed, I light scented candles for my husband and I to enjoy. Husbands need help unwinding and relaxing also!

Quietness vs. Peace

Imagine this – you’re by yourself in a room with soft, relaxing music, soft scents of vanilla and lavender, and the lights are dimmed low – you almost fall asleep, but your mind wonders to the children at home and if your husband is actually watching them or watching television. You remembered a few bills that won’t get paid on time, and you need to go grocery shopping after leaving your place of tranquility. Your friend just left a disturbing message on your cell phone and you just remembered you didn’t return an important phone call last night. You may enjoy your quiet room alone, yet you have no peace. Webster defines peace in several ways, and one of the definitions is quietness, yet my favorite explanation for peace is freedom from fears and emotional disturbance. An emotional disturbance to me is muddle in the mind...stuff...needless thoughts and worries...being held hostage by thoughts we can’t seem to shake. Peace begins in the mind. You can have PMS, be in a dirty kitchen washing dishes with the children bickering in the background, a dog barking, the phone ringing, the television on with nobody watching, be behind in bills and have PERFECT PEACE! It takes practice, yet it’s possible! To be continued...

Peace In The Home

Have you ever been to someone’s home and you automatically felt relaxed? You just wanted to pull your shoes off and grab a pillow to snuggle on the sofa? Every home has a personality of its own and it usually takes on the personality of the woman sense we set the tone in the home. The colors we choose and whether our home is child friendly or a large crystal cabinet is usually our decision, however, these material decisions are not the only things that give the home personality – the most important factor is the essence of who we are; our nature, our spirit, the very core of our being. Money is no object here. The most expensive, highly decorated home can lack love and peace. If we have a peaceful, calm spirit, our home will reflect that. On the other hand, if we are uptight, on edge, and unhappy, our home will also give off that energy. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our life or in our home, a sense of peace can always be maintained within the home if we have peace within ourselves. Peace is not just a state of mind; it is a state of being. What energy does your home give? Not sure? What is your state of being right now? Do you have peace in your life? Are you content in your marriage? Satisfied with your children, your relationship with God, and your career? Homes talk!

Peace vs. Muddle

It’s so easy to let our feelings control our entire day with needless thoughts. Peace does not mix with mess and I like to refer to mess as muddle - it sounds better since it’s occurring within my body (smile). I frequently find myself with needless thoughts -thoughts of what my husband should be doing, or should have done, thoughts of my children’s behavior, or an incident with a friend, family member, or neighbor I didn’t agree with. These thoughts then control our actions and it’s a down hill journey after that. If we can hold our thoughts captive instead of adding fuel to them, our peace would come a lot sooner. How do we add fuel to our needless thoughts? By practicing conversations in our mind over and over again and replaying situations and discussions to the point of consumption...they control our every thought and this is so stressful on a woman’s already demanding day. This stress is detrimental to our health. Stress invites disease and disease kills. Many of us are feeding our own disease on a daily basis. These needless thoughts birth unpleasant matters - our children have a hard time getting our attention, we make careless decisions in and out of the home, and we’re distracted from the things that matter most. My solution to these needless thoughts is to turn my thoughts to prayer for the particular person or situation and thoughts of good things. The battle in my mind slowly begins to cease and my peace is restored. Can't think of anything good? Think of your Creator and the life, health, and strength He gave you this day. This definitely takes practice and it sure didn’t happen for me over night. I still battle a muddled mind at times, yet I recognize my thoughts and hold them captive a lot quicker than I use to. This makes such a difference in my attitude, my facial expressions, and my home environment. Peace or Muddle – which will you choose today?

The Peace Test

Just as sure as I share how I keep my peace of mind or how I prepare for those unexpected tests, I have a pop quiz on keeping my peace! Yesterday, I was definitely put to the test of patience and peace of mind. Everything was okay until we were driving home from Bible Study and I’ve got just a few more nerves left for the rest of the evening. Between eight and nine at night is usually when I begin to feel drained - the boys have asked a million questions, told me 500 stories, and called my name 300 times. It was almost nine in the evening and I was exhausted, yet the boys were in the back seat still calling my name, telling me stories, and asking questions. I had to pray and ask the Lord for an extra ounce of grace and patience to get through the rest of the evening without losing my peace of mind. I could have easily asked the boys to be quiet, yet the drive home was short and I knew the power of God would sustain me AND my hormones if I just kept my focus on His power and not my circumstances. After all, why should the boys be punished for my lack of self-control? I knew they were tired also, yet they could have continued until midnight if I let them. Being tired is definitely stomping ground for the enemy, so I chose not to set myself up to say or do something I would later regret. We made it home and I exhaled. The boys were hungry and I gave them the quickest snack I could find and sent them to bed. Whew! I made it and didn’t lose my patience or peace. This process may sound easy, yet it has taken many days of losing my patience, and failing countless tests of peace to get to this point. Most importantly, it takes building an intimate relationship with the Lord and knowing to call on Him throughout the day before you reach your breaking point. Are you ready for your peace test?

Pop Quiz

Everyday something is bound to happen to try to steal your peace of mind. Knowing this will happen and expecting it, is half the battle. Whether it’s your patience, compassion, or your attitude, some area of your life will be tested today. It’s usually trivial, insignificant issues that bombard our day. It’s not the actual action that takes place, yet it’s our reaction that will either give us a passing or failing grade. Many days I wake up full of joy and ready to tackle the day and something small will throw me off guard. A misunderstood word from my husband, attitudes from my children, or a complaining spirit because my to-do list is longer than the day, are all things that shape our attitude, which in turn will shape our day into either a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. This is why it is so important to have quiet, meditation time with God as soon as we awake. Yes, before the first load of laundry, before leaving for work, before breakfast, before turning on the radio or television…put God first. Once we realize that every step we take is under the control of a mighty God, we will be free from thinking we are in control of the day and what happens. There is nothing we can do alone; it’s all under His power. He controls us, and everything that happens to us. Our very small part in keeping our peace throughout the day is to keep our minds on Him. To be continued...

Keep The Peace

I asked my mother what would be the one piece of advice she would give a mother and she said, “Keep your peace of mind.” It’s quite ironic that I share the same advice. Although I haven’t the wisdom and life experience my mother has as an older woman, I understand all to well the importance of keeping your peace of mind in the midst of chaos. My signature in my emails and other personal correspondence is followed by the phrase, perfect peace. My mother said, don’t worry about it being perfect; just keep your peace! Of course I would not understand or appreciate this peace if I had not experienced some pandemonium in my life. There is nothing like feeling as if your world is falling apart and you’re about to lose your mind - the house is dirty, the husband is acting funny, the children are getting on that last nerve, bill collectors are calling, and you want to walk away from it all. Having your peace of mind makes all the mentioned issues seem quite weightless – almost as if they didn’t exist. Yes, having peace is powerful, yet it doesn’t happen overnight. It is something that must be learned and practiced. To be continued…

What About Me?

I do a lot of computer work and trying to work from home is very difficult. Trying to work from home and home school is difficult. Trying to work from home and home school plus have a high maintenance husband is difficult. Yesterday I tried to sneak in a few minutes on the computer while the family was outside and it seems the computer has a built in alarm. As soon as I get busy typing, here they come. I tried to ignore them, yet they insisted on including me in the family conversation. I gave them a nod every now and then with an occasional smile and laugh as I continued typing. My youngest wanted to play the piano and of course I had to listen attentively to the new song he composed (smile). By this time, I just turned off the computer and decided to wait until later in the evening as I usually do. Later in the evening never came because once the boys went to bed; I wanted to give my husband his time. By the time he went to bed, I was tired and shortly fell in bed behind him. I probably need my own office and I mean my OWN office! Is it possible? Will they eventually find an excuse to knock on the door to interrupt? Will they turn it into a sitting room when the office is not in use and slowly turn it into a family room? I’m sure other mothers deal with this scenario if you also work from home, or maybe you go to school and find it difficult to study or get homework done. Is there a solution? Help! What About Me!

A Friend In Need

I’m a reserved person and really enjoy being alone. I rarely pick up the telephone to chat and you definitely don’t have to worry about me coming to your home uninvited. I thank God for hiding my unfriendly character with His character, and loving and using me in spite of myself. The Lord has placed an acquaintance in my life, and I've been resistant to the relationship growing for several selfish reasons. For months, I’ve prayed to be receptive to God’s will in this relationship. Yesterday she called crying with some bad news she received and I prayed with her on the phone. After our prayer, she asked me to never leave her, and through her tears, she said she didn’t know what she would do without my friendship. Feeling like I had royal mud in my face, I told her not to thank me, yet thank God. I certainly didn't deserve an ounce of tribute for this friendship. Immediately, the Lord shared with me that my purpose in all new associations isn't to try to be a friend, yet to introduce them to another friend…Jesus. My job isn't to try to love them, yet to tell them of the love Jesus has for them. Whether they know it or not, this is what they are really searching for anyway! Our Lord was all about relationships. He introduced everyone He met to His father or encouraged them to develop a closer relationship with him. Women are notorious for relationship blocking - another trick of the enemy. When I enter another seasonal connection or maybe a relationship that will grow into a lasting friendship, I pray I remember it’s not about me. One day I won’t be so self-consumed. Everyone wants to be loved and needs one faithful friend. My grandmother once told me Jesus is my only friend. What a friend we have in Jesus! A true friend will share The Friend.

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
A man who has friends must himself be friendly. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Endless Energy

Do children ever get enough of frolic and fun? Am I getting old or what? Maybe it’s just the summer heat affecting their brain, to make them think they must soak up every ounce of daylight and sun they possibly can. They won’t slow down unless I make them. Swimming, running, playing baseball, tag, hide and seek, video games, swimming, skating, running, swimming, running, swimming, and on and on and on all day long. My goodness, if I could bottle up some of that energy for my low days! It doesn’t stop when it’s bath time either! They want to race to see how long it takes them to take a shower and put their pajamas on and then they talk and laugh until one of them falls asleep. My goodness! It really is a blessing they are healthy and full of endless energy. There are children in hospitals never to see the outside again, so I have only countless blessings to thank God for. Their endless energy is just a reminder of how precious life is and the joy we should have everyday regardless of our situation or what we’re going through. The ability to grasp each moment and thank God for the ability to inhale and exhale should be enough to make us want to run and shout!

Family Baptism

I’ve never watched the show – let’s get that straight first, however, I’m very aware of the little character on the show Family Guy. I have no idea what his name is, yet he has a football shaped head and just doesn’t rub me the right way. The commercials are enough to convince me he is not a character I’d invite in my home and he appears to be related to the Simpson Family. Well, so much for my thoughts about Family Guy – what is his name anyway? One day, my youngest son brought home this Family Guy character! He won him when he was out with his Father in one of those machines where you try to win stuffed animals by pulling them up with a metal claw - shaped gadget. When he brought him home, I told him what kind of fellow he was and that I didn’t want him in the house because he wasn’t a good boy. “Mama, we can turn him into a good boy can’t we?” I had no idea what he was talking about, yet the next morning he baptized Family Guy in the bathroom sink and said, “Mama, Family Guy is a good boy now.” I couldn’t say a word because I was surprised he even thought to do such an act. Although we don’t believe water baptism saves or changes you, my son’s thoughts were loving and accepting unlike his mother who wanted to throw the little guy in the trash!! Needless to say, Family Guy is now a part of our family along with many other stuffed animals and characters.

Mundane Matters

Being a home-keeper can become a mundane mess if we allow it to. It's the same thing different day – cooking, cleaning, homework, running errands, taxi-driver, breaking up fights, laundry, etc, etc, etc… Thank God for the power of the mind. We have a choice each day to either dread our everyday responsibilities with frustration or to face the new day with an attitude of gratefulness for a new opportunity to create a comfortable, loving environment for our family. It’s a challenge, yet I enjoy imagining it’s my first time tackling the tasks on my to-do list. How pleasurable it will be to wash this load of laundry I’ve never washed before...separating the colors will be fun! Cook? Oh joy! What nutritious meal shall I prepare today? I may even bake a cake! Mop the floor? I’ll put a shine on it they’ve never seen before! Clean the bathroom? They won’t want to come out! Okay, I said it was a challenge, but doesn’t it sound fun to try? The battle begins in the mind and if we allow our thoughts to take us to that place of dreadful drudgery, it’s difficult to return to our private place of peace. Why even visit such an undesirable place? In an instant, we can paint the walls in our home black with our thoughts and actions. I’d rather stay where the skies are blue and clear - my thoughts are unpolluted and my actions are kind. Mundane matters don't have to be mundane at all.

Wait Till They Become A Teenager!

It’s so encouraging to hear positive stories from mothers of teenagers. When I speak of my sons to other mothers, I often hear, “Wait until they become a teenager!” Well, I don’t want to wait and why won’t you tell me what I’m waiting for so I can prepare for it?” Does every teenager take their parents through hell? I choose to think not. I had two teenage girls from my church spend the night with me recently and they were such a joy. They are girls any mother would be proud of and I tell their mothers this frequently. We snacked, giggled, talked, watched TV, laughed at each other (they laughed at me mostly...I guess I say ‘old lady’ stuff), and I fell asleep on them. Why they would want to spend time with a forty something married woman with children, I don’t know, yet I was happy to be in their presence. I’m sure they give their parent’s a little beef every now and then; they are still young humans with hormones, yet these girls give me hope for the teenage years. I know God has some things stored for my boys and there is no guarantee what choices they’ll make in life, yet all I can do is my part and raise them right – with morals, values, character, and a love for the Lord. I want them to do the right thing because they want to, not because they have to. My two sleepover guests showed the same manners, love, and respect they show on Sunday and it was sincere. They are who they are...good girls. I can sit and “wait till they become teenagers” and wait for the bomb to explode, or I can pour into my sons now and prepare them AND ME for those challenging teenage years. I'm pouring!!!

Marriage Mishaps

This seems to be the week for marriage mishaps. It’s comical to me that I’ve gone through many struggles in my marriage and God continues to show me they weren’t about me. Every situation I’ve gone through, going through now, and will go through is to help another marriage! Yes, I gain a little more character, peace, and understanding of God, yet there is a much bigger picture than my own issue. This week especially, I’ve spoken with several women having a difficult time in their marriage. I’m not a marriage counselor, yet I know one! Marriage can turn in an instant. The slightest wrong move, action, or word can turn a romantic mood or moment of bliss into a confused state of matrimony. What happened?! How do you turn it back? You don’t. You allow the love of God to smother you and take control. Trust me, having the last word only makes things worse. I know; I am the trophy holder of MOUTH. I know I’m right, you’re going to listen, and I won’t stop talking until you understand and accept what I’m saying. That was the old me; things had to change if my marriage was going to thrive. Sometimes we can be so angry, our thoughts are not coherent. Be quiet, pray, and wait. Try not to marinate the negative, yet process the positive in your mind. Try to think of the good qualities in your spouse and focus on their strong traits. Your peace of mind will slowly return and you aren’t feeding your body stressed energy, which eventually turns into illness or disease. It’s not worth our energy or time. Time is powerful and silence is priceless. God’s love is amazing if we just allow Him to work through our pride and selfishness. Yes, it’s a sacrifice and it takes a lot of practice, yet the rewards are mind-blowing. You may think this won’t work in your particular situation, yet my marriage counselor does not show favoritism and HIS love conquers all. Your situation is nothing He hasn’t seen and solved before.

A Welcomed Inconvenience

I decided to go swimming one day only to find a small lizard dead on the steps of the pool. He must have drowned, and I immediately thought of the inconvenience its death was about to cause me. I attempted to scoop the creature out with a net, yet I kept pushing him it into a position that made it more difficult to reach him. I was not about to pick him up and yes, I’m afraid of lizards, dead or alive, and I sure wasn’t going swimming with one! My sons weren’t at home and I could hear them repeating the scripture that God has not given me the spirit of fear...the scripture I so often share with them (smile). Anyway, their little voices did not convince me to remove the lizard, so the spirit of fear and I went back into the house while I selfishly prayed, “Lord, I love you and you said ALL things work together for good, so what is the purpose of this dead lizard keeping me from going swimming?” As soon as I walked in the house, the dead lizard became a blessing. The smell of cabbage met me before I opened the door; I left it warming on the stove. I intended to eat it before I went swimming, yet completely forgot about it. I would have been in the pool for at least an hour…needless to say; a series of unfortunate events could have occurred had it not been for the dead lizard. As I sat eating my cabbage, I heard laughter outside my front door and looked out the window. My neighbor’s son was walking into their house draped in a contraption that covered his entire upper body. I immediately went into the kitchen to bake him something. I took warm brownies over and found out he had been assaulted and broke his neck! My goodness, if things had gone as I planned, I would have missed out on my blessing and also blessing someone else. Sitting in traffic, long red lights, unexpected phone calls, misplaced car keys, and boo-boo diapers right when it’s time to walk out the door can all be inconveniences, yet when we realize God is in control of our lives and our time, these inconveniences suddenly become welcomed blessings!

Another Mom's Thoughts

I receive emails from moms from all walks of life and the emails help me remember how much we are alike in so many ways. With her permission, here is one email from a working mom I thought we all could relate to.
- - - Just trying to get started this morning and prepare myself for whatever the day will bring. Found it a little difficult to focus though. I want to run out and get breakfast, I want to go to Oprah’s site and look at her Legends Luncheon guests again. I want to look at paint chips and decide what new colors I want to paint my house. I want to think about how that woman offended me at church last night...yep, I want to do everything except pray and meditate on Jesus. I found a way to get focused, I just sat a minute and thought...I mean really, really, really thought about how it was God who 'chose' to wake me up this morning, It was He who 'chose' to allow my family to be in their beds and not in the hospital bed. It was God who 'chose' to let me have a job. It was God who chose to give me life, a purpose, and a passion. It was God who created the women at Oprah’s luncheon. And it will be God who chooses and allows me to do anything in this world to bring change. We sing this stuff in church music all the time and we get before the church and mention God’s power all the time. But it’s a different thing to really know it and realize it every minute of the day. It’s so easy to wake up refreshed and ready to serve the Lord. Will my awakening be asleep by 10:00 AM when I realize how much is wrong in my life? Yeah right, MY life...I better recognize it was God who gave me 'my' life. Lastly, I was blessed so by the Oprah show yesterday, I forgot what her guest’s name was but he was describing his girlfriend (Penelope Cruz). He said she had a way of looking at things or places she has already experienced but looking at them as if to see them for the very first time...with wonder, an open heart, and no pre set expectations. I would like to look at life that way, including my job, people, and even my church family. Okay I am done blabbing.

The Distracted Mother

While serving snacks at Vacation Bible School this week, I’m hearing so many cute comments from the children. Children say the funniest things, yet some of them can be considered smart remarks. One day we were waiting for more food to come from the kitchen, so the children were just patiently waiting in line. One particular little girl looked at me with big brown eyes and said, “I’m hungry.” I smiled and told her it should be just a few minutes before the food comes. When it finally arrived, I continued serving and the little girl received her plate. It wasn’t until after the serving was complete and later in the evening that I thought of those big brown eyes. I remembered how the little girl looked – her hair was messy, her clothes were dirty, and her face didn’t appear happy or childlike…she looked troubled. At the time, I was so distracted by my job of serving snacks; I missed meeting the true needs of this child. Was she sad? Was she hungry for love? Is she neglected at home? I thought about my own children and how distracted I may be when they come to me. This is how children begin looking for love in the wrong places. It takes a lot of time and energy to be a nurturing, concerned mother. It takes a second to become a distracted mother. Children rarely express their needs. How often has your child said, “Mama, will you spend more time with me?" “Mom, will you stop and listen to me while I tell you this long story?” “Mom, I had a bad day at school today and I want to tell you about it.” Sounds unreal doesn’t it, yet they must think these things from time to time. They assume we always know what they need, yet we sometimes get distracted with housekeeping, school, church ministry, and our jobs. I thank God for the little girl with the big brown eyes. God can use anything and anyone to teach a lesson!