That's Okay!

The mental retreat I've been on has opened a new life for me. Not only is my blood pressure staying consistently low, but I've been able to ignore some things that I felt required my undivided attention before. Remember the commercial where a little boy spilled red juice on the carpet? The mom looked at the stain, smiled and sang, "That's okay!" Well, my mental retreat has taken me there. Nothing seems to matter or should I say...I'm not sweating the small stuff. Ahhh...a new peace of mind I've discovered. The mental retreat must go on!

Spotlight Blogs

I've added a few blogs to the site that you might enjoy. Mothers come in so many different styles and personalities, that I thought I'd invite some company and add a little color to my own blog. It's nice to get another point of view on Mothering. God knows I can use all the help I can get. We're on this journey together and we all have something to add along the way.

If you have a blog that will bring encouragement, joy, or just 'good read' to another Mother, email me to be featured as a future Spotlight Blog!

A Season of Change

Fall is upon us, but the weather isn’t the only thing changing in my life. The mental retreat I’ve been enjoying is definitely renewing my mind, yet is also renewing my relationship with God and causing some changes in my life. I’m convinced; I’m right where God wants me – transforming. I have to admit, it’s a little scary because I’m out of my comfort zone in many areas of my life, but I’m allowing God to have His way with me. I don’t know where I’m going or who I’m becoming, but I’m going with the flow. My mental retreat has caused me to talk less and listen more, act more and react less, be more spiritual and less religious, and be more accepting and less judgmental. Just when I was cozy and comfortable in my life, the seasons changed. This season of change is altering my thoughts, my actions, my marriage, and even my relationship with my children. The ironic part of this change is how it started – needing and taking a break from the busyness of my life. When God calls us out to spend consecrated time with Him, a change will definitely occur. Being in a place to hear His voice offers clearer direction for our life. Just think; I would have missed this season had I not taken my mental retreat. I thank God for not allowing me to remain stagnant in my life, but to offer a season of change to bring to fruition, the woman, wife, and mother He created me to be. Do you feel a nudging to make a change or go a different direction in your life? Allow God to have His way with the seasons of change in your life.

Philippians 1:6...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Buck Stops Here!

It seems that I have a permanent smile on my face since I've been on my mental retreat. Hmmm...what does this mean? I'm not sure I want to return from my retreat because I'm loving it! My blood pressure is also lower than it's been in a long time. Hmmm...what does this mean? Why have I been stressed in my own home? Why do I feel pressured to do the things I enjoy doing? Okay, it's time for table discussion with the family. Now that the boys are older, I shouldn't have to do everything in the house. I believe I do everything because of my control issue. If you want something done right, do it yourself. That's the old saying and that's what I use to live by. Well, I no longer care if it's done right or done at all. The buck stops here! My health and mental well-being is more important than seeing an empty laundry basket and a clean kitchen sink. Sitting next to clothes on the sofa isn't so bad after all - especially when they are warm! I won't bother them if they don't bother me - not until I'm good and ready. Stress free days, here I come!

Mental Retreat

I searched my Bible this morning for validation to take a break from being a wife and Mother. I’m tired and in desperate need of rest and renewal. The closest scripture I could find was when Jesus told his disciples to go to a place alone and rest a while. He said this after they returned from a mission and Jesus recognized that to do His work effectively, periodic rest and renewal was necessary. My study Bible mentioned that Jesus and His disciples did not always find it easy to get the rest they needed, so this also gave me comfort. Since I can’t get away, I placed myself on a mental retreat this weekend. I have dirty laundry for days, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, plus many telephone and email messages to return, but I have a peace of mind that I can’t explain and I'm guilt-free! My family probably thinks I’ve lost my mind, but if I don’t take this time to renew myself, I will lose my mind. I refuse to self-inflict unhealthy stress or worry right now. No wonder women have a high rate of heart disease! We allow the pressure to perform to control us. No more! It’s a shame I had to reach forty-something to realize this, but I've always been a late bloomer and I thank God for the awakening! I’m not sure how long I’ll stay on my mental retreat, but when it’s over, I will be refreshed and ready to step back into the roles God created me for. More importantly, I will take more periodic mental retreats. My personal reminder to you - take care of YOU, so you can effectively do what you do!

Mark 6:31 (NKJV)
And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

A Sacrifice Worth Making

I haven't taken the time to blog all week and I'm feeling the blogger blues! Actually, is it that I haven't taken the time or is that I haven't had time? Since the family opened The Dessert Stop, my time is monopolized and there is little time left for me. I'm okay with this because it's a sacrifice worth making. If I have to bust my butt to make a better life for my sons' future, than this is what I'll do. It seems everything I do is for my family and this is just something else added to the plate. The boys spend alot of time at the shop also as I implement Business 101 into their homeschooling curriculum. They especially enjoy serving the customers and receiving tips, but things go a little sour when it's time to clean up and wash dishes. Oh well, they too, are making a sacrifice. They really won't understand the benefits of hard work until they have to work themselves.

Hard Times?

Yesterday, a young girl came into the shop to buy a cupcake and asked if we accepted food stamp cards. The last time I saw a food stamp, it was an actual stamp, so I asked to see it. To my amazement, it looked just like a debit or credit card, so I tried it in the machine. The machine did not accept it, so I gave her a cupcake. Last week, a woman asked me to buy her a can of sardines, Spam, a loaf of bread, and a couple other items, so I did. Also recently, while at a stop light, I saw a young Mother waiting at the bus stop with three very young children looking burdened and tired. I was tired also, but I was sitting down driving a car. God reminded me in each situation I witnessed, just how blessed I am. Hard times? Yes, but my cup still runs over with blessings. Being able to open a business in a shaky economy is a blessing. Being able to open my refrigerator and have a choice of what to eat is a blessing. Walking in my bedroom closet with a choice of what to wear is a blessing. Yes, I sometimes count pennies, but at least I have pennies to count. Last time I counted, they made a dollar! There’s another world out there I am ignorant to while I shut the garage to my warm home of comfort and cross my legs. I thank God for shaking me back into reality. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Hard times? No, I can’t go out and purchase a new outfit with new shoes right now and it's not in the family budget to eat out tonight, but we aren’t eating Spam or sardines out of a can either. We’re rich in health, life, and strength!

Psalm 41:1(NKJV)
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Hula Hoop

My exercise this morning consisted of swinging my hips in a hula hoop for about 15 minutes as I watched the news. While listening to the news, I thought about when I hula hooped as a little girl and there was nothing on my mind except keeping the hula hoop moving. This morning, I thought about the economy, politics, oil, gas, and food prices, violence, and everything else I allowed through my ear and eye gates. Good grief. I wish I had known the pleasures of youth when I was young! My circle of concern was so small and my world was innocent. Now, I'm exposed to the necessities of life and responsibilities. I chose to concentrate on those youthful years and my hips began to swing just a little bit faster. I was having fun and enjoying revisiting my youth! Sometimes it's medicinal to have fun and play as a child. Our world is so complex, but the mind of a child is simple and carefree. Okay, back to the real world, I have laundry and cleaning to do! Sigh....

Come To My Party

I had a party this weekend and nobody attended. It all began Saturday morning when I chose to sleep in a little longer than usual. Once I awoke, I prepared my three men for another long day at the football field. I cooked them breakfast and packed them a lunch. I stayed behind to work our new family business, and noticed I didn’t leave myself a lot of time to get myself ready. This is when I decided to host a party- a pity party. Several questions began to race through my head - What about me? When do I get breakfast? Why do I have to cook and wash dishes? Does anybody care? I began to blame my family, but quickly figured out why this frantic football weekend was different from past weekends. Well, I didn’t plan properly, which left me hungry and rushed. I wanted my family to feel sorry for me and almost ruined the weekend with damaging thoughts, which resulted from a bad choice. Sleeping in isn’t a bad thing, but this particular day, I had much to do about everything, so sleeping in was not an option. It’s so easy to blame others for our personal mess. My no-show pity party reminded me to take ownership for the daily choices I make, which impact my attitude, the day, relationships, and every piece of my life. When I allow God to guide me in my decision making, my days run smoother, my thoughts are clearer, and I feel confident knowing God is at the helm. So, did I sleep in this morning? No way! I awoke extra early for another type of party – a take care of me party - a God-guided decision.

Psalm 31:3 (NKJV)
For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Out of the Box

So often, we live our lives in a box. We think our life is and will remain the same forever because we get stuck in our ways and comfort zones. We serve a creative, powerful God and living a life of obedience opens the door to our life changing drastically. Our lives could change tomorrow, but we limit God by not acknowledging His awesome power.

My son's birthday is next month and he asked for $300 dollars. Ha! I told him to go look at his room and let me know if he deserved $300 - he didn't move. I went on to tell him how he could have almost anything he wanted if he just did what he was responsible for in the house and take some initiative to do some things on his own (outside of when he wanted something.)
Our Heavenly Father is the same with us. He has special blessings waiting for us, but we are disobedient and try to run our own lives. What reason does he have to bless us beyond the grace blessings we receive everyday? Our Father is a King! He owns everything, so why in the world would His children be without? Let Jesus out of the box and live in obedience!

Memory Lane

This morning I was looking for a special message from God to help me begin another demanding week as wife, mother, chauffeur, teacher, baker, cheerleader, manager, nurse, friend, and every other hat I wear. I used my favorite Bible, which is over 20 years old and falling apart. The books of the Bible aren’t even in the correct order, but I love it because it’s full of notes and highlights. This Bible has been with me through my days as a single woman and has taken me through 15 years of marriage, pregnancy, miscarriages, the birth of two sons, health and sickness, financial circumstances, friendships, my twenty year Naval career, and every other matter in my life. A few of my past trials resurfaced as the highlighted scriptures took me down memory lane. I smiled as I recalled how some situations seemed like such a big deal then, but looking back, I now see them as simple matters – light afflictions. Particular highlighted scriptures reminded me of how I walked through the storms of my life. My worries cease when I trust. My faith increases when I believe. My burdens are relieved when I cast my cares, and I am delivered when I surrender. I definitely received the special message I was seeking this morning. The same God that walked with me through my past situations is still walking with me. His word has not changed. He is the same God he was yesterday and He’ll be the same God tomorrow. There is no need for concern when things are shaken or changed in my life as long as I stand on the solid promises of God. His word is constant and He is forever faithful. My walk down memory lane reminded me of how God has always worked in my life, yet it also encouraged and strengthened me for today.

Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
The grass withers, the flowers fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.