Go With The Flow

My husband is home from work today, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to get as much done around the house when he’s home. I figure it’s one of three things – 1) I want to spend time with him and be where he is, so my own tasks are left undone. 2) The house is not as orderly because the boys want to play with Papa instead of chores and homework. 3.) My husband thinks when he comes home from work, his job is complete, so mine must be complete also! Hmmm…I choose to believe number one is the reason (smile). Whatever the case may be, my behind is like a magnet with the sofa and it’s difficult to separate myself. Although, my ‘work from home’ job is mainly Internet related, there will be very little done until this evening when everyone is winding down and running low on energy. Hubby is home and I’ll just go with the flow and enjoy the day with my family!

Hallelujah Hormones!

I always try to think positive about everything, so when I think about hormones, my immediate thought is horrible hormones, yet that wouldn’t be so positive would it? One good thing about hormones is that it reminds me of just how strong God created females to be. We were created to endure…endure…endure. We carry a lot of weight. We can take a lick and keep on ticking. We carry children for nine months, bear them, raise them, love and support our husbands, encourage friends and neighbors...we support and defend! If that’s not enough, we deal with the Hallelujah Hormones, which are more active than we are. They never stop! We know the hormones are present and expect their visit at various times of the month, yet they have a way of creeping up on us when we least expect. I can never seem to prepare for them. Our calm reaction to a child’s normal, everyday activity can make our heads spin on an active hormonal day. Co-workers all of a sudden get on your nerves, and husbands turn ugly. You never know what you might say, how you might react, or how you might feel on any given day. My husband tells me to put up a red flag to warn him when I’m having a rough day. Well, when someone warns me, then I’ll grant his wish. Mood swings, cravings, irritability, crying spells, the list goes on and on. I use to be the PMS queen until someone educated me on proper nutrition. I didn’t have a clue there was any relationship with the two – News Flash!! If we deal with hormones before, during, and after our monthly cycle, that means we have one really good week out of a month. Hallelujah!! I’m proud to say I’m 42 years old and in my perimenopause stage. I hear the hormones really kick in after menopause, yet I’m happy about one thing...no more pads! I’ve had my issue of blood. If you had to choose between loss of bone mass (comes with menopause) or a monthly cycle…which would you choose? I’m ready to embrace the change!

Set Me Free

It appears you have the perfect family – you live in a nice neighborhood, you and your spouse have decent jobs, your children are well mannered, and when others see you together, you make a beautiful picture. It's a picture everyone admires and wants to emulate. If we look closely at your picture, we notice a major flaw - your heart. You are unhappy and held captive by destructive thoughts of your husband and your marriage you can’t control. You’ve been betrayed with heartless acts or words from your husband and they continually rewind in your mind making your life an upsetting rerun. Set me free! Free me from my mind, my thoughts, and myself, so I can heal and move forward! You just can’t seem to shake it, so you’re forced to hide behind your makeup to cover your pain and tears. You’ve had thoughts of walking out, yet thoughts of your children encourage you to stay. You probably even think you’re a fool for staying. How do you deal with this from day to day? You just go through the motions not realizing you’re living your life from the outside looking in. You want to play a more active role, yet can’t. You involve yourself with your family, yet it’s just your body;your heart is dormant. You’re exhausted from acting as if everything is okay and upset that your husband believes the marriage is just fine. You pray for strength, yet your faith is shaken, your spirit is bruised and you wonder if you really want to save the marriage. How do I know this? How did I describe you so well? I’ve been there and this is how I know PERFECT PEACE. I’ve been through a long, intense storm not knowing if I’d survive, yet I’m here! God saved me from the storm, restored my joy, and placed my marriage on solid ground. No, it wasn't easy, yet the only way you lose is if you give up! I KNOW only a living God is able to set you free from your pain, negative thoughts, and yourself. As a spiritual woman, I can’t express enough the awesome power of prayer. Just because you don’t see signs of change or improvement, doesn’t mean God isn’t working. Marriage isn’t easy and we don’t have the strength, energy, or power to change anything or anyone, yet God has ALL POWER and yes, HE IS ABLE.
To be continued...

Is This Your Husband?

One of the best gifts we can give our children is a good marriage. I use the word good to include the good times and the bad times. Children need to see and hear that marriage isn’t only seeing daddy come home and kiss mom, nor is it seeing them sit in church together portraying the perfect couple, or hold hands in public from time to time. Arguments and disagreements help build a strong, healthy marriage and bad times can definitely strengthen a weak marriage...I speak from experience! I’ve struggled in my marriage and I work overtime to keep it strong...we both do. I’ve had thoughts of walking out, yet every time I look in the mirror, I’m reminded that I’m not perfect and my husband also has to deal with my inadequacies, which are few(smile). Unfortunately, not every marriage survives, yet our children will surely benefit knowing marriage is a bowl of cherries...with pits. They need to watch and hear acts of kindness,forgiveness, and humility, which should be evident in any relationship. Every now and then, a candid woman will verbally share how her husband is driving her nuts and listeners silently agree, comforted because we are not alone. We may even wonder if they’re speaking of our husband! It’s comical to me how we share our (make believe) marriage, not realizing we all share a piece of the same husband. They all deal with ‘manly’ temptations and struggle to keep their eyes straight ahead. Most of them were born with a remote in their hand and have to be weaned from it just as they do a bottle. They have the most wonderful thoughts about what they’ll do and what needs to be done and we pray those thoughts come ALIVE! Every now and then, our loving husband reminds us they are still the adorable, fine gentleman that swept us off our feet and down the aisle by showering us with their love, taking us on dates, and verbally expressing their appreciation for who we are and what we do. These sporadic acts of expression are exactly what keeps our marriage glued and gives us hope for the next celebrated wedding anniversary. Is this your husband?

Another Monday

Here we are facing another Monday and preparing to start a new week with our daily routine. Wake up, make the coffee, take medicine, eat, dress, go to work, work, work, work, run errands, pick up children, play taxi-driver, go home, prepare dinner and begin our evening ritual to prepare for another day. Sounds mundane doesn't it? What is it about New Years Day that gets the world so excited about that one day? It's the thought of a new beginning, a new attitude, new opportunities, a new outlook on life! Well, today is Happy New Day! Today is a new beginning full of new opportunities. Renew your mind right now and take advantage of this fresh start with a new outlook on your life and the life of your family! If we look at our plans and goals for the week or even the month (if you dare), it may be overwhelming, yet tomorrow is not promised to us, so let's grasp this moment and live for today! Make New Day Resolutions and allow God to work with you and through you. Today is another chance to stay in His will...another chance to be the servant, wife and mother He has called us to be. Remember, God is in control of this day and every day. Happy New Day!!!

Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
This is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it.

Octopus Mom

Mothers are blessed to have the ability to multi-task. We can cook, do laundry, help with homework, wash dishes, nurse a sick child, and a few other things all at the same time, yet there is one major area of our lives we’ll never master...the ability to be in more than one place at the same time. Have you ever had two baseball games, karate practice, and dance lessons all going on at the same time or at least the start and end times of the activities overlap? Whew! God bless those with three, four, maybe five or more children participating in various activities and sporting events. What is a mom to do? The best we can without losing our mind! Some mothers seek car pool opportunities while others take turns dropping off and picking up the children with their spouse. Others must go solo and just be the best New York taxi-driver they can be. Things don’t usually go as smooth as we want them to and we may not always be on time, yet we somehow get the important things done and things work out. We definitely can’t do everything and be everywhere all the time, although we sure try! It helps to know our limitations and our children’s limitations. We all have 24 hours in the day, yet we use them differently. Use your resources and your time wisely and don’t be afraid to ask for help! I pray each morning and ask for guidance and direction for the day. “Please God, order my every step!”
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

What's Important?

Our days are packed with activity from our jobs, church, community volunteer work, housework, and whatever else gives us the right to say, "There just isn't enough time in the day!" Our families are included in our busy schedules, yet from time to time, we should consider having some true quality time with our children. Not only would this make them feel special, yet they would have better attitudes towards themselves and us. I've decided AGAIN to make more of an effort to have "do nothing" days with my two sons and just hang out with them doing things they enjoy or nothing at all. They love family time, yet we don't have it often enough. They love sitting at the dinner table as a family and that's about the only consistent thing we do plus watch American Idol together. Puzzles, board games, reading books, or just having "chat time" are all things that take time and the truth is...we find time to do what we WANT to do. What's Important? Yes, I home school my sons and you're probably thinking how much more time can I spend with them? The times when I'm their "school" teacher is not counted as quality time, nor are the times when we're in the car going from one place to another running errands. One on one time with no disturbances is my idea of true quality time. What's yours? If we only have 15 minutes a day to spend with our children between cooking, bath time, homework, and extracurricular activities, they deserve this uninterrupted 15 minutes, regardless of their age.

Is This My Job?

There is ALWAYS something to do around the house. Just as soon as I almost see the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper, it's filled again. Dishes, dishes, dishes...the sink is rarely empty. Bathrooms and boys...sigh...I give up. This morning while cooking homemade biscuits at 5 a.m. for my husband, I wasn't as pleasant as I usually am, so I sang myself into a joyful state of mind. While buttering the lightly browned, fluffy biscuits I was so proud of, my husband let me know which bills needed to be placed in the mail today. "Why can't you do it?" No, I didn't verbally speak this to him, I wrote the check out, addressed the envelope and placed a stamp on it, however, my husband and I had a heated discussion in my mind and he didn't even know about it... I won! Sometimes I wonder if my family realizes how things get done around the house. Although my sons are required to help out, I believe they think it's my job to do everything. Is it? I'm the cleaner, the baker, the candle-stick maker, the mediator, comforter, taxi-driver...I guess it is my job...I'm the caretaker... the home-keeper! No matter if we do it ourselves or delegate the never-ending tasks, the mother is overall in control of the atmosphere and environment of the home. If we want to paint the walls in our home black with an ugly attitude or disposition, we have that power. If we choose to paint our walls a peaceful, pleasant sky blue, we have that choice also. Mothers have a powerful, influential position in the home and we just need to learn how to use this power in the most loving, caring and nurturing way. It's not about the tasks in the home, it's about the attitude of the home-keeper.

Scratch or Box Cake?

Television is running over with reality shows and I believe it's because people are interestd in what others are doing in and with their lives. Is it being nosey, curious, or is it human nature to compare ourselves with others? Mothers are notorious for comparing. Do you cook cakes from scratch or box? Do you cook breakfast for your children each morning or do you send them off with a pop tart or no breakfast at all? Public School or Private School? Forget both of those...I homeschool! Do you make your children make their beds or do you care? Do your teenagers have a curfew or not? Who cares? Really...who cares? What you do in your home is your business and what looks green on the other side of the fence is not always green! If we did not have the ability to compare, we would probably be happy with our own lives and not try to keep up with the mother next door or better yet...think you are better than the mother next door. We all have the same goal, yet we take different avenues to reach it. We're raising God's children...they aren't ours anyway! With that being said, the only one you need to be concerned with and answer to is the father of these children...their Heavenly Father.

I'm Tired!

One of the most common comments I hear from mothers is "I'm tired." God has placed an enormous responsibility on mothers and we definitely wear many hats throughout the day. Although God has given us above and beyond every resource required to fulfill this challenging role and to handle our seemingly, never-ending tasks, we all have a breaking point. I look forward to greeting my children every morning, and some days I look more forward to saying "Good Night." It's important to recognize that breaking point before it comes. Fatigue, irritability, hunger, and frustration from a busy day all lead to actions, thoughts, and words we regret. Oh yea, don't forget the hormones we're blessed with! When you feel the least bit frustrated, agitated, or just TIRED... step back, take a breath, THINK and PRAY before you act. Ask God to give you the strength, energy, and power you need to get through the next minute. One mistake we are all guilty of is trying to keep on keeping on without asking for help from our only source of power...The Holy Spirit. Have you plugged into your power source today?

Psalm 121:1, 2 (NIV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Peace in Chaos

This morning I looked forward to having my quiet time with the Lord and just rest in His presence while enjoying the early morning quietness in my home. Seconds into my quiet time, my son came to me and very calmly said, "Mama, the toilet is flooded." I immediately got up from my comfortable position on the sofa and opened the bathroom door to standing water and urine and water still flowing from the toilet. So much for my moment. Feelings of selfishness covered me because I was disturbed from MY time and my husband was not there to clean up the mess (smile). The first words out of my mouth were, "Help me, Lord." I knew my attitude needed to be changed before I did anything else. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that undesirable events such as my overflowing toilet is exactly what we need to continue to recognize the peace and power of God in spite of unwelcome situations around us. The important thing is to keep our mind focused on God at all times and not the situation. If we wait for the perfect moment, we'll be waiting forever.

Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.