The BIGGEST Laugh of 2009

Yesterday evening, the family came home from an evening of errands, meetings, and basketball practice. We had dinner before we left and the kitchen was left a mess - a big mess. My sweet, compassionate secondborn son says to me, "Mama, do you want me to wash dishes for you?"

Loooong Pause....


"Dear Son, I'm sorry, but you are sadly mistaken if you think those are MY dishes! LOLOLOL Firstborn, isn't that funny? He thinks he would be washing those dishes for me!

Hubby! Hubby! Did you hear that? Does everyone in the house think this way? We ALL used those dishes. We ALL messed the kitchen up. We ALL are responsible for cleaning the kitchen up. Those are not MY dishes and washing them is NOT my job. You guys are funny!" LOLOLOL

Wait a minute. I'm always trying to make sure I raise Firstborn and Secondborn to be good husbands, so where did I go wrong with the dirty dishes? Maybe I ASK them to wash the dishes, so they automatically think they are doing me a favor. Hmmmm...Okay, I'm going to leave this one alone because it's not worth my energy and I have no mental space to take this into the new year, but you have to admit the thought process of a man is quite funny....Wash the dishes for me. Hmph!

You know what? Those dishes said good morning to me. Yes, they are still there. LOLOLOL - ROFL - LOLOLOL

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Do You Believe?

My six year old niece battles with asthma and the Christmas holidays were no exception for her. She’s a huge Michael Jackson fan and nearly danced herself out of breath. The day after Christmas, I found her in bed completely exhausted. I knelt down to pray for her and then encouraged her to pray for herself.

As a mother, it’s important for me to ‘be there’ for my children. I want to be their comforter and meet their needs, but there comes a time when Mama must step out of the picture.

When I die, I want Firstborn and Secondborn to know where their comfort and help will come from – without doubt. When their heart is broken, I want them to know who can mend it. I want them to know they have a Heavenly Father who will meet all their needs.

Children, mine included, have so many questions about God and His existence. I answer what I know and lead them to seek God for themselves. I have questions of my own, but one thing I do know (without doubt) is God is real within me. I heard an awesome song yesterday at my mother’s church titled, I Believe. It reminded me that although I may not have all the answers to questions about the Bible and I may be confused with traditional worship practices and baffled over the many religions and translations of the Bible, I know God is real in my soul, and I choose to believe.

There is nothing in this crazy, mixed up world that can give me the joy I experience. The peace I have in the midst of my troubles can only come from a supernatural power. This burning passion I feel deep in my spirit has got to be something more than a hot flash. The comfort I experience when I pray is obviously something bigger than me. The amazing way things work out in my favor completely rules out coincidence. Hearing that song was a wonderful way to continue in the spirit of Christmas which is not just a season, but a life changing experience when you receive The Gift of God.

Teaching our children to develop their own personal relationship with The Father is crucial because one day, we must push them out of the nest to fly on their own.

What about you? Do you believe?

John 3:16 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

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My Special Delivery

I’ve been pushed to the edge, my brain needs batteries, my energy is exhausted, and I have nothing else to give. I know when it’s time to getaway, however, I don’t have the money or the time to take a trip, but yesterday I received a special delivery.

We always celebrate Christmas with my family in Alabama, but this year we won’t be able to make the trip until Christmas Day. Instead of depriving the boys of pre-holiday festivities, hubby and I dropped the boys off in Alabama yesterday. My parents’ home looks like Winter Wonderland with a big beautiful tree, lights, and decorations throughout the house. The only light shining in my home is the kitchen light.

I’m so happy the Lord has allowed me to experience a mother’s love – I love my baby boys and always want them with me, but leaving them with my parents yesterday invited a much needed sigh of relief. This week there is no Mom’s Taxi, no teacher conferences or emails, no homeschooling, no…no children!

Hubby and I need some renewal time also. It’s easy to get lost in the mother/father roles and date nights get lost too! This time alone will remind us we were a couple before we had children.
Should I hide the remote control?

I’ve been praying for some relief, and although these few, short days may not be the physical getaway I thought I needed, the mental getaway is a special delivery of renewal and peace! I thank God for this special Christmas gift, which is also a time to focus on THE GIFT – the gift of the Prince of Peace.

Mothers often forget one of the most powerful weapons is our peace of mind and the perfect peace promised to us by God. We allow the busyness of life to steal our peace that was delivered many years ago. Have you accepted your gift?

The Prince of Peace is making special deliveries of peace, joy, love, forgiveness, faith, comfort, and much more! Call on Him to schedule your special delivery!

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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I Can't Feed My Child

Secondborn and I went to the grocery store this morning and he turned into the "I want" child. My goodness! "Mama, I want corndogs." Mama, can I get chocolate chips to make cookies?" "Mama I want green apples, I want to start eating healthy." "Mama, can I make lasagna?"

Well, as I type, he is in the kitchen making lasagna for the first time (he's happy) and of course I bought the green apples, but the other things I did not.

I continue to explain to that boy the difference in wants, needs, and desires. WANTS - NEEDS - DESIRES. Hubby and I continually talk to both boys about being a good steward over God's belongings - including His money! Both boys even took a financial class at church for the youth that expressed money management. I know it's an age factor, but good grief...sometimes I feel like I can't feed my child, but then I have to remember myself - WANTS - NEEDS - DESIRES. It can be hard for a mother to turn our children down, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

As we were standing in the checkout line, there was a woman with a basket overflowing with food. (pictured above) Good grief! It must have added up to almost $300. She either has a family of six or is going shopping for the entire month.
My basket, which was 1/4 full came to $70, which was $20 over what I wanted to spend. Yes, I try to be frugal

If we all lived within our means and not above our means, the economy wouldn't be in the shape that it is and most of us wouldn't have to live from paycheck to paycheck while we rob Peter to pay Paul. Some of us rob Peter, James, and John! As for this'll get fed, but all the unnecessary items are just that - unnecessary.

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Monday Meditation - Message in a Jacket

A young mother sat behind me in church and I felt her irritable energy. I asked her if she had a rough morning and she answered with a tired and very familiar yes. I was dealing with the horror of hormones, which is probably why I recognized her unspoken irritability.

I looked to my right and saw another woman trying to discreetly wipe tears from her eyes.

Earlier, another shared with me that her father had been ill. I was also aware of another mother at home with sick children.

I thought of all the life luggage mothers carry and prayed that each of us would receive a special message of relief during the worship service.

My pastor walked into the sanctuary and his red jacket immediately spoke volumes to me. The Prince of Peace reminded me, through the red jacket, of the blood that was shed for me – for mothers – for wives – for everyone! The red jacket symbolized the blood which offers peace, comfort, joy, and RELIEF from the heaviness of my life luggage. The blood allows me the freedom to cast my cares! It doesn’t matter what the situation is – it doesn’t matter what the sin is – it doesn’t matter what the economy says… the comfort, the relief, the answer... is in the blood. The red jacket was a symbol of being covered in the blood of Jesus - covered with the power and protection of Christ Jesus. A mother's life luggage doesn't have to be heavy if we remember the blood that was shed for us.

I was so excited about the message in the red jacket that I began snapping pictures. Yes, in church, but at least I didn’t use the flash!

It’s ironic that the messenger, my pastor, spoke a message to me without ever opening his mouth. The red jacket wasn't just an item of clothing, but an awesome message and reminder of hope and peace - for Christmas and everyday throughout the year.

Life luggage - we don't have to carry it alone.

Matthew 26:28 (NKJV) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

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Firstborn in Jail?

Sunday evening, I visited the local jail with my church prison ministry and it was an experience I will never forget. There was a young inmate with the same build and sweet smile as my fourteen year old son. I couldn’t stop looking at him and wondered why he was there. At one point, we made eye contact and exchanged a smile. He probably felt me staring at him, but when I looked at him, I only saw Firstborn. This young inmate shared his testimony, and I had to fight back tears. He shared how simple disobedience towards his mother led him to jail. He said he didn't listen to her and little things he refused to do escalated into wrong choices, which led to jail time. Hmmm…you know what was going on in my mind.

Well, last night, Hubby had a talk with Firstborn unaware of the jail experience I had with this young inmate. Hubby has noticed Firstborn’s choice of clothing and music has gone slightly to the left. He has also noticed Firstborn’s disposition and posture in church has displayed a blasé attitude. Hubby made a decision to correct this slightly left turn and get Firstborn back on course.

I felt sorry for Firstborn as I watched tears come out of his eyes while receiving his new marching orders, but I kept silent. I began to pray that his tears would save me from future tears. I prayed this corrective turn would get Firstborn’s attention. I prayed Firstborn would realize his parents refuse to lose him to the world. I prayed Firstborn would be the leader he was born to be and not the follower he has become. I prayed Firstborn would recognize the spiritual battle in his young life that his Mama continually talks to him about. The slightly left turn may seem small, but if not corrected can lead to a wreck or even jail time.

Firstborn is no exception to ending up in jail and if you think your child is an exception, you are deceived. Just my two SENSE and no, I didn’t misspell.

I thank God that Hubby recognized these things. Mothers can become so busy and distracted that it’s very easy to miss subtle actions in our children requiring immediate attention and parental roadblocks.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Maybe in your mind I am, but as for me and my house – we will serve the Lord and keeping Firstborn and Secondborn out of trouble and out of jail is a big deal and keeping them on course to be a light in this world IS THE DEAL.

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Monday Meditation - Presents in the Pulpit

When I walked into the church sanctuary yesterday, I noticed the pulpit was adorned with beautiful poinsettias and presents. I accepted the poinsettias, but the presents didn’t settle with me very well. I know it’s the Christmas season, but what’s up with the large sized presents in the pulpit?

Knowing my pastor, I knew the presents had a purpose, so I excused my critical, carnal thoughts.

When my pastor’s sermon began, it all came together. The topic was, The Reaction to the Gift and of course, we know what gift he spoke of. The comparison of material gifts and THE GIFT was made quite plain.

The sermon wasn’t the only powerful message I received, there was a Life Lesson for LaVender wrapped in those huge presents in the pulpit. The Lord made sure my focus wasn’t on the material presents that Miss Flesh wanted to rip open, but the present I plan to give my children for Christmas. What present will I wrap to share with them this year?

I really didn’t have to decide, the Holy Spirit picked the gifts of understanding and patience. Sigh. Allowing God to stretch me to a higher level in Motherhood will be the best gift I can ever give Firstborn and Secondborn.

Will it cost? Yes, it's expensive! It will cost a little of my Self and a lot of my pride. Ouch!

Will my gift be something my family desires? No doubt! I’m sure they love me just as I am, but who wouldn’t want a mother with just a little more patience and understanding? I know my teenager would.

Will I have to search for this gift? Yep, I must search within the depths of Miss Flesh to find those precious character traits that desire to surface to the next level. Miss Flesh doesn't want me to be Christ-controlled.

Do I have to wait until Christmas to give these gifts? Absolutely not, but they may be late. Just knowing I'm striving to obtain them is a gift in itself.

I thank God for the presents in the pulpit. My critical thoughts led to thoughts of the gift of Motherhood and my gift of a better Self to my family. What an awesome gift they're getting.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (NKJV) Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

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Ho, Ho, Noooo!

It's only the first week of December and I'm already exhausted with the Christmas hype. Sigh...

Do I have to do this again this year? Who am I asking?

I'm still basking in the goodness of the Thanksgiving holiday and already my one box of Christmas decorations is begging to come inside from the cold storage house in the backyard.

We're in a recession right? Where is everyone getting the money from to light the OUTSIDE of the house up? Do they still sell the single candlesticks that sit in the window?

Presents? Yeah right...good thing I can bake!

Firstborn says, "All I want is a digital camera." Did he forget we just paid $205 for him to run up and down the basketball court at school? Can you say AFTER CHRISTMAS SALE?

I'm really not a scrooge...well, maybe a little bit.

I'm actually laughing as I type this because I go through this every year and I'm soooo thankful I celebrate the birth of Jesus everyday, so the hype is just that...hype that I don't have to participate in.

Yep, this year I think I'll watch. Wow! I feel better already!

If you really, really, really want to decorate for Christmas, you gotta read Deck the Halls.

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We Interrupt This Life...

It’s such a blessing to be surrounded by family when I visit my parents’ home for the holidays, but it’s very difficult to find a quiet place to renew my mind. Saturday morning, I awoke very early to exercise and thought I succeeded at finding a minute alone until my father walked into the room. He said he was going to stop me from exercising because he needed to say something. Daddy, are you kidding me?

My father began his conversation by stating why he didn’t have a problem stopping me from my cardio workout. He and my mother were preparing to leave the house and I would be gone when they returned, so he was taking advantage of the present moment. I admired my father for this although Miss Flesh wanted me to get irritated because he interrupted me.
I can be veeery selfish

After daddy shared his words of wisdom, which I always welcome, I continued my exercise, yet instead of focusing on my cardio system, I thought about how irritated I get when I’m interrupted. Whether I’m on the computer, reading a book, writing, relaxing, or even using the bathroom, my first response with any interruption is annoyance.

Wives and mothers will continually be interrupted – we’re called for, called on, needed, required, wanted, requested, and claimed by our family to meet their wants, needs, and desires. Is it possible to welcome these interruptions?

My Life Lesson for LaVender didn’t end with thoughts of myself, but thoughts of a family friend who was interrupted on Thanksgiving Day. His life was interrupted – by death.

I will forever look at interruptions by loved ones differently because one minute being interrupted can’t compare to a life being interrupted by death. Each moment – interrupted or not is one to be thankful for. Yes, alone time is important, but I’ll get plenty of that when my life is interrupted by death.

James 4:14 (New Living Translation)

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

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Nothing to be Thankful For?

Although it's the season of Thanksgiving, many are finding it hard to be thankful due to the many challenges of life, financial stresses, and relationship struggles. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult to find the good in our circumstances, but today I choose to be thankful!

- Hubby and I know quite a few people who have lost their jobs recently. Although hubby has been sent home many times because of lack of work, he still has a job. For this, I am thankful.

- I only have a few dollars in my checking account, but I'm thankful for that!

- We have bills past due, but I'm thankful we are able to keep our lights and water on.

- The trash didn't get taken out last night, but this morning that same trash reminded me we had to have something in order to make trash. I'm thankful!

- I awoke to dirty dishes in the sink, but we had food to eat and dishes to eat on. For this, I'm thankful.

- My to-do list is pretty packed, but I have my life, strength, and energy to do what needs to be done. For this, I'm thankful!

- Every room in my home needs cleaning, but I'm thankful to have a home for shelter.

- Being a wife and mother can be exhausting, but I thank God for realizing nothing can take the place of a loving family! For this, I'm thankful!

There are so many things I could complain about, but recognizing the good in my life allows peace and contentment to surface.

Someone would love to be in my shoes right now - someone would love to HAVE my shoes!

Regardless of our current circumstances, let's be thankful for our life, our family, and for the ability to simply BE.

Have a joyful Thanksgiving!

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The Other Woman

I'm fully aware of the other woman in my husband's life. I've seen her on countless occasions and I can usually tell exactly what day she decides to surface. She's the most bold woman I have ever known.

I know it's strange reading this here, but writing is healing for me. Yes, it's time for me to be transparent about even this.

How can I remain so calm? Well, I'm not calm about it at all and her periodic visits with hubby upset me, but what can I do? Sometimes it scares me that she would actually try to take my place so close to the holidays, but I must be true to myself. I must remember the children hubby and I have together, and I must also remember that he chose to marry me - not this other woman. I try so hard to show love in spite of this other woman, but it's so difficult.

Do I blame hubby? Not at all. This other woman has pushed her way into his life and he has tried to avoid her, but she is extremely persistent. I've tried to find ways and even pray about this other woman, but I've finally accepted, after so many years, this is God's plan for my life - my marriage.

She's moody, mean, and to put it plainly - she's a b----. Thank God she only comes around once a month and her visits are short because although hubby loves her, I know he also loves to see her leave. Hubby and I aren't intimate when she comes around and hubby knows he better not touch me until she leaves. I might as well tell you her name. Yes, I know her that well. Her name is Flo - as in Aunt Flo.

Does your husband have another woman in his life?

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600th Post Giveaway!

Home business, blogging, scrapbooking, reading, or just relaxing in peace.

If you're doing what needs to be done as a mother, it's often challenging to find time to do things you enjoy. I love to write and if I don't wake early to do it, I'm trying to fit it in somewhere between cooking, homeschooling, laundry, running errands, and meeting the needs of hubby. I even check my email between tasks.

There is no such thing as sitting down doing something I enjoy (for an hour) without being disturbed. Even with a teen and tween, when I sit down at the computer, they all of a sudden want to talk. What's is this about? Are they trying to make me feel guilty? I think children just hate to see mama doing anything that doesn't concern them.

Hmmm...if mothers have a difficult time finding free time to do things we enjoy, maybe we shouldn't be doing these things at all. If your baby or toddler is crying and tugging at your skirt while you're at the computer, it's time to get up! If you jump up from the computer or quickly end a phone conversation when hubby comes in the door, maybe you were supposed to be doing something else anyway.

Actually, it's all about time management. We all have 24 hours in the day and it's how we use those hours that will free up a little extra time for our own interest.

Speaking of free time, this post is my 600th post! I obviously found some time somewhere to blog 600 times! To celebrate this occasion, I'm giving away a prize. The winner will have the choice of the newly released "We Snap in Silence" or a $20 gift card from your choice of Walmart or Target.

You have five ways to increase your chances to win

1. Follow this blog

2. Invite someone to follow (let me know who you invited)

3. Add Mom's Peace Bites to your blogroll

4. Leave a comment on how you find time to blog

5. Follow me on Twitter although I rarely tweet.

Contest will close November 29th

Monday Meditation - May I Help You?

It was 8:30 P.M. last night, and I had nothing left to give – no energy, no patience, no compassion, no - thing.

I was about to retire for the evening and Hubby, in the room next to me, asked me to print a copy of his resume. I was so tired, after I printed it, I asked if he wanted me to get one of the boys to bring him the resume or if he was coming to get it. He asked me to bring it to him because he needed to ask me a question. Sigh…Is he kidding me? I’m tired!
I had helped and served my family all day and had the nerve to jump rope for exercise; my attitude was quickly headed south. I knew I should have been in the bed, but ignored my fatigued body and allowed Miss Flesh to surface. Big mistake!

Secondborn, my eleven year old, walked by with his comforting smile and the Lord reminded me of this sweet boy’s gift of helping. I always call him the Jesus in our home because he displays a true servant-minded spirit. He is always asking if we need any help and is constantly looking for ways to serve us. Saturday morning, he awoke early and cooked breakfast for the family while we slept. Hmmm...Did I give birth to this child?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the pleasure of simply reaping the benefits of Secondborn’s serving spirit, but God uses him as a constant reminder of how I should be or at least strive to be. I’m pretty good about asking hubby if he needs anything – when I feel like helping. If I’m tired, I try to disappear. Thank goodness we have a God who never tires of helping us!

Anyway, I survived the resume ordeal and the rest of the evening. The family had evening prayer on our knees and when the prayer was complete, Secondborn says, “Do you need help getting up?” Good grief boy, do you ever stop?

Needless to say, I was blessed with this ever so helpful child because this mama needed a live in Life Lesson for LaVender on being servant-minded. It’s overwhelming to think I have to serve 24/7, but there is comfort in knowing I have a never-tiring God to help me help my family!

Psalm 30:10 (NKJV)
"Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!”

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Mama's Hearse...What the....?

I have never believed in coincidence, but this is definitely one time I want to say, "It's just a coincidence."

For several mornings while taking Firstborn to school, I see the above white hearse. Hmmm...
Firstborn and I would just look at each other after it happened more than a few times because it seemed too coincidental. Spooky to me.

It didn't matter if we left five minutes earlier or ten minutes later, the white hearse showed up. What the...?

Since the boys were little, I've always talked to them about death - especially my death. Mama won't always be around. One day, they will have to say goodbye to me. Because of what we believe, I let them know that this day of death will be something Mama has lived for and it should be a happy day. I realize you can't prepare anyone for the death of a loved one, but at least they are aware it will happen.

I was relieved when I didn't see the hearse for a few days, but yesterday while at a stop light, the white hearse drove by me. What the....? Yes, I grabbed the camera and took a picture.

In my mind, I pictured the driver driving by, smiling, and waving at me. I know...I'm crazy, but doesn't this seem just a little odd? Is it okay for me to think this is a coincidence, or should I take heed and listen for my number to be called? You know, if we keep on living, our number will be called. There is a hearse out there with our name on it and just as sure as we are living today - we will die one day - this is the reality of life. Are you ready?

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Airing My Dirty Laundry

I'm so thankful our washer and dryer is outside in the garage. We also keep our dirty clothes baskets in the garage. I live with three males, and the stench of dirty socks, underwear, and musty clothes is not something I want to smell everyday.

Firstborn and Secondborn wash their own clothes. This is a wonderful thing, but I'm reminded daily that they wash ONLY when they have to.

This morning, Secondborn says, "I need to wash clothes." Excuse me? Son, you needed to wash two weeks ago!

The large overflowing basket below is Secondborn's, the small one next to it is Firstborn's. I can't imagine having this in my house. It's right where it belongs - outside...airing!

Is the red towel supposed to hide the large mound and make it look neat or something? LOL!

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Monday Meditation - Taboo Topic - Sex, Sex, Sex

The older woman is charged with teaching the younger woman, but I don't recall having anyone talk to me about how to physically please my husband. I'm not talking details, but just sharing the importance of sex in marriage and the power of prayer in this regards. Sex is right up there with the topic of money in marriage, but we obviously feel more comfortable talking about money than sex.

I've been talked to about encouraging my husband, supporting him, helping him, stroking him, and loving him, but I've never had anyone tell me about sexually satisfying him. Is this subject taboo or is it just too personal to bring up?
Last night as I held my husband, I began praying for him as I always do, and something came to mind that has never come to my mind before. If God created sex and disapproves of sex outside of marriage, hubby should be completely satisfied and desire only me, right?

I know men battle with temptations of the flesh in ways a woman will never understand, but I believe if God created sex to bring pleasure to a husband and wife, it should be more than our human minds can comprehend. We should have a WOW attitude instead of a 'not tonight' attitude.

My prayers turned to asking God to teach me how to fulfill hubby's sexual desires, wants, and needs. I also asked God to guard hubby's mind from the sexual tactics and snares the enemy has planned to tempt hubby outside our marriage - outside doesn't have to go far - it can be a commercial! I closed my prayer by asking for more energy and an increase in my desire to please hubby. Women easily get caught up in meeting the needs of the children forgetting the husband comes first.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be a sex crazed freak in the bed every night. Hubby would love this. I simply want lovemaking in my marriage to be of God. I want to experience sex God's way, not my way or hubby's way.

I thank God for this enlightenment after 15 years of marriage. I've always been concerned with pleasing my husband, but it's time to take it to another level. It's also time to share more openly with the younger woman. Sex is not a bad word! SEX, SEX, SEX! God created sex - the same God that created the world! If we look upon God's creation with amazement, we should look upon sex, talk about sex, and enjoy sex with the same level of amazement - in marriage of course.

Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

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Mothers and Chippendales - Can We Look?

What do Mothers have in common with the Chippendales? Well, we're both human and that's what this post is about.

The Black Chippendales are coming to my city and I actually had a thought of going to see them - relax, it was just a thought. I don't care if the Chippendales are white, black, yellow, or green, Chippendale Men are....well, Chippendale Men.

One of the local radio stations are giving away free tickets. Dare I try to win a ticket? Would someone see me? Can I disguise myself? Why am I even thinking about going to see these men who do nothing but seduce, tease, and excite women? Well, because I'm human. Some call this "entertainment" while others call it sin.

Hmmm... can a woman striving to be a Christ-controlled loving wife and influential mother have thoughts of seeing the Chippendales? Of course! I was a woman before I became a wife and mother. I'm STILL a woman and I'm very much human. The day I don't admire a handsome hunk of a man is the day I'll be worried. As a matter of fact, the day hubby isn't attracted to a beautiful woman is another day to be worried. We're human! Uh oh...I just realized someone else in the house is human...Firstborn will be 14 this month and he isn't striving to be Christ controlled, but he is definitely hormone controlled. Yikes!!

I took my just a thought of seeing the Chippendales a step further by calling a friend and asking her if she wanted to go. She laughed and I pray her laugh was because she knows my character. No, I'm not going to see the Chippendales and to be completely honest, I don't really have a desire to was just a thought in the mind of Miss Flesh. I had to hold that thought captive! Maybe I'll tell hubby to "entertain" me tonight; he puts on a darn good show and I can do more than look!

So, dear, sweet, loving, faithful, wives and mothers, how about you? If you could be invisible and attend a Chippendale's Show with a guarantee that nobody would see you, would you go?

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Marriage and Money - Joint Account, Separate Account, or Secret Stash

In our early years of marriage, hubby and I had a joint account. It worked out fine because we were newly married, basking in oneness, and covered in a blanket of blissful matrimony. We both were working and pulled our incomes together to pay the bills. We were a team!

Well, things changed when I retired from the Navy. Hubby has always kept the books in our home, but when I stopped working outside the house, I didn't feel comfortable having to give account for every penny I spent. I have never been a shopper, so he didn't have to worry about that, but if I wanted to do something just for me (rarely), I didn't see why I had to report to the Chief Financial Officer.

Why did I have to ask if we had money to get my hair done? When I had hair

Why did I have to ask for money to go to lunch with a friend? I worked for 20 years, why can't I spend $20 of my money?

I know I's OUR money. Actually, it's God's money!

Why did I have to turn in receipts at the end of the day? I keep the books accurate.

Although I had access to the money just as he did, something in me just didn't like asking and reporting for 5, 10, or even 30 dollars. Good grief, I'm a grown woman! Why didn't hubby have to ask or report? I know...I've got waaay too much independence to be married.

Money may be an issue in every marriage to some degree, and our marriage sure wasn't an exception. Needless to say, this wife had to get her own account. It gave me a sense of freedom and completeness, which is hard to explain.

This may be petty to some, but I'm well aware that money is a major issue in many marriages. This is one reason so many wives seek home based businesses and part-time jobs - to have their own money. Other women are sneaking shopping bags in the back door or keeping goods in the trunk of the car. Others have a secret stash hidden away.

Well, this marriage no longer has an issue with money. I no longer report to the Chief Financial Officer and if we come up short at the end of the month, guess who comes through? Yep, I've got my stash and there is nothing secret about it.

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Does Your Husband Need Holding?

One day last week, Hubby came home from work and went straight into the backyard to cut the grass. Secondborn said, "Aren't you tired?" Of course Hubby's answer was yes, but there was work to be done.

After the yard was perfectly manicured, hubby came in to eat; his plate was in the refrigerator waiting on him. As he stood near the microwave waiting for his meal to warm, I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around him. Hubby said to me, "If you're going to hold me, hold me up." I chuckled because I knew he was tired, but thought for a minute about his comment. Yes, I took it to another level.

Men have a lot on their shoulders as the head of the household, the priest, the protector, and the provider. A woman is needed not only to a helper, but to hold our men up in prayer and to be a vessel to pour courage into their hearts (encourage). Men may be the stronger vessel, yet they need our loving power to hold them up - they need our emotional stroking to hold them up - they need the strength of our spirituality to hold them up and they need our powerful words (not nagging) to keep them up.

All I did was give hubby a hug and I received a wonderful Life Lesson for LaVender in holding my husband up! It doesn't matter if it's finances, a career move, spiritual growth, life changes, or their personal tribulations. let's help our men be the man they were created to be. Let's be that strong woman they need behind them to hold them up and thank God for Jesus holding us up!

Proverbs 31:28 (AMP Bible)
...and her husband boasts of and praises her...

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Concerned, Curious, Nosey, or a Snoop?

How much privacy do children deserve? Do you allow your children to close and lock their bedroom door? Do they have privacy to talk on the telephone? If you saw your child's diary opened or unlocked, would you be tempted to read it? If they have a television in their room, do you know what they're watching? Do you read their text messages?

If parents don't know what's going on, how can we correct? How can we guide? I refuse to be ignorant to my child's life and I'm sorry, but the only privacy you're getting in this house is when you use the bathroom. There are no closed bedroom doors here!

I always wonder what conversations Firstborn is having on his cell phone. If the phone is always in his hand, the conversation MUST be pretty important. At eleven and thirteen years old, I think hubby and I have a right to know what is going on in our sons' life - no, we have an obligation to know - a NEED TO KNOW. They can have all the privacy they want when they move out.

Yesterday I checked Firstborn's text messages and I was disappointed. Was I being nosey? I really don't care, but if I had not checked, I would not have known what I know now. I had to recheck the message to make sure I was in the 'sent' files because I didn't want to believe what I read. Excuse me? When did you start using this kind of language? What?! You hang out with someone like this? obviously bumped your head and forgot what kind of parents you have. Needless to say, I nipped a few things and reminded Firstborn of a few more things. He had a small case of amnesia when he bumped his head - he forgot how he was raised. He's okay now and the bump has gone away. If I check his text messages again and find these same things, I may put a new bump on his head.

What about you? How much privacy do you allow in your home? Are you concerned, curious, nosey, or simply a snoop?

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Keeping the PEACE and My PIECE of Mind With My Teen

Last night, I popped my head in Firstborn's room to see what he was doing and look what I saw! He was doing homework! I know there is a God!

Look closely and you'll see Firstborn's cell phone on the floor next to him. He was also texting

The CD player in front of him was blasting with music. Thank God for Gospel Rap

My first thought was to be the Mama I usually am and say, "Firstborn, put the cell phone away. How in the world can you do homework and text at the same time? Get your priorities straight! Who are you texting anyway? Why is the music so loud? How can you concentrate? Why are you sitting on the floor? Sit at the table or at the desk, so you can concentrate and have a decent environment for studying! Look at this nasty room! How can you think straight? It stinks!"

The mama I'm trying to be said this, " "

That's right, I didn't say a word. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up! I allowed Firstborn to be Firstborn and this is what he gave me in return. A big smile (with some foreign object in his mouth) and the peace signal.

Yep, I'm slowly learning to pick my battles and keep the peace with my sweet teen!
This mama will survive!

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Monday Meditation - An On Time Tardiness

Saturday morning I opened my eyes, thanked God for another day, looked at the clock, and begged hubby to tell me I wasn't reading 10:45 AM on the clock. Unfortunately, he assured me the time was correct, so I jumped out of bed.

I have never, ever slept past 10 AM in the morning, not even in my teenage years, but this morning I did. It would have been okay if it had not been a morning I was scheduled to be somewhere at 11:30 AM. It would have been okay if I had not been asked to share with others about the power of a mother's peace of mind in the midst of chaos.

As I scrambled to get myself dressed, I thought how comical God could be at the wrong times. Every weekday morning, He awakens me between four and five in the morning, but not this morning. Nooooo, this morning when I’m scheduled to be at our city’s Peace Fest, I awake at 10:45 AM.

As I hurriedly gathered my things, I prayed and asked God how in the world I was supposed to speak about peace on a morning I was struggling to find my own peace. I began to question why He didn’t wake me on time. Why today, Lord?

Well, I continued driving and praying and received a profound Life Lesson for LaVender, which was…the message you need to share is in your present circumstance. Wow! Lord, you woke me up late on purpose? My tardiness was actually…on time? Wait a minute. Lord, you want me to share my morning mayhem? Talk about being real!

Still driving, I did some breathing exercises to calm me and stayed in prayer. I eventually arrived at the Peace Fest, found my table, and set up – in peace. I was blessed the entire day as I shared the power of peace in the midst of mayhem. Isn't if funny how things always, always work out?

Whatever God has in store for you this day, remember your peace is your power. Even when things don’t appear right, God is in control, He doesn't make mistakes, and the Prince of Peace will assure you – it’s already alright!

I Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace...

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Are You Guilty of Child Neglect?

Is it fair to call a woman stupid because she was not taught healthy mothering skills? Is it fair to assume every mother is taught the same level of responsibility and accountability?

I think not, however, recently I've heard mothers being referred to as stupid, assholes, and even baby killers.

I think it's safe to say that it is only by the grace of God that we were raised by mothers who attempted to do the right thing in nurturing their home, and we learned from them. We may have even improved what we learned and possibly admit to falling short in some aspects of our learned mothering skills.

After doing a little research on my own, it seems lower income and poor families are prime victims of the press when it comes to sharing child neglect stories, however, there are more than a few high society families that not only hide their activities of neglect, but are excused from their actions because of their income.

When will be pay attention to the children of low income families, who research shows, suffer the most from poor quality care. What about the high society siblings being neglected and mistreated, but are hidden from help.

Regardless of society status, it isn't until we hear or read about children being left at home for days at a time, malnutritioned, or thrown in a garbage can after birth that we give childcare any serious attention. Who is really guilty of child neglect here? The fact is, child neglect and abuse is going on around us everyday. These children have no voice, yet we use our voice to call the mother stupid, shake our heads, and go on about our merry way.

Well, Momsweb will be more proactive in this issue. Not only will I continue sharing the need for educating mothers and mothers to be, but I must take the word beyond the Internet. Every woman doesn't have access to a computer to read the latest encouraging post on my blog or the latest edition of Raising Mothers - especially if they are in a rural area. Hmmm...out of sight, out of mind. I don't want to just preach to the choir.

The MotherHOOD must consider the children, but before a child is cared for properly, the caretaker must be taught properly. It's a huge task, but I must do my part.

Momsweb - Nurturing Children From the Root...the Mother.

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Toddlers Turn Into Teenagers

May I reflect on Firstborn's toddler years for a minute? Baby boy was something else and I knew he was set apart from the rest. I didn't just read children's books to him, I read "War and Peace" to him because I knew he was different! He was the chosen one!

Firstborn would wake up, dress himself, clean his room, and brush his teeth without being told. His drawers were organized, his toys were always picked up and he did whatever I asked him to. I even have a picture of him hidden away somewhere of him standing up in a chair washing dishes. Yea, this Mama had it going on! I knew my mothering skills for my first child were all that and a bag of potato chips (baked please).

Low and behold...Firstborn turned 13 and my head turned also - a complete 360 degree turn. Yes, he is still a very sweet child, but the initiative is GONE! Not only does he have to be told to do the things he did on his own as a toddler, but he has to be reminded and then told again. The picture below is of Firstborn sleeping in the car yesterday after I picked him up from school. We pulled in the garage and he mentioned how tired he was (he had football practice also). I told him he would just have to be tired while he washed dishes and the chosen one let out a HUGH SIGH (almost knocked me over), closed his eyes, and went to sleep in the car (in the garage) for at least 30 minutes.

Yea, this Mama's mothering skills have definitely paid off! I got it going on!! LOL!

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Monday Meditation - Driving on Empty

My car stays on E. I've got my reserve tank mileage down to a science and so far, I've never run out of gas. This drives hubby crazy, but unfortunately, not crazy enough for him to make sure my car keeps plenty of gas in it. I hate to stop and pump gas and when I do, the boys pump it if they are with me.

One day recently while driving on empty, I made one trip more than I should have and boy was I praying! "Oh please, Lord. Please take me to the nearest gas station. Please, Jesus have mercy, pleeeease don't let me run out of gas." Of course my Heavenly Father spared me in my dumb decision as He always does, but of course He gave me more than mercy. Yep, a Life Lesson for LaVender.
After I pumped the gas, I was relieved. Whew! Thank you, Jesus! I continued on my way, but guess what? My need for Jesus wasn't as strong. Hmmm...what would make me think I didn't need his grace and mercy as much on a full tank as I did on an almost empty tank? Had I forgotton about the time the car stopped running at a major intersection with gas? Had I forgotten about His daily mercy in keeping me from dangers seen and unseen on the road? Oh Lord, do I really gauge my need for you like I gauge my need for gas?

I applied this gas tank lesson to my life. I need Jesus every minute of the hour, not just when I'm running low on gas, on money, on joy, on food, on patience, on compassion, etc... I need Him every step I make and every breath I take.

When we get comfortable in our life, God will definitely throw an uncomfortable pillow at us to remind us that He is in control. As I close this meditation, an old hymn comes to mind titled I Need Thee Every Hour... I need Thee, O, I need Thee; Ev'ry hour I need thee! O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee!

Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

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Guess What?

Guess what? I'M ALONE!

Hubby and the boys went to the Men's Breakfast at church and I'm all alone (tee-hee).

After eating a delicious, warm bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins (in peace), I went from room to room deciding which one I should clean first - I get so much more done when I'm alone (what is this about?).

Well, I ended up in the living room where the computer is and here I sit. Why waste my free time cleaning when I can go blog hopping? Yeah, buddy! This is a golden moment for me - to blog without disturbance!
Hope your blog door is open because I may drop by! I'm free!

Have a wonderful weekend in Motherhood!

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Don't Give Up

Don't Give Up!

This morning while driving Firstborn to school, there was a man holding a huge red sign that said, Don't Give Up. I was already thinking of the number of homeless people in our area, so when I saw this sign, it brought a sense of comfort to me. The sign didn't change anything except my emotions, but I wondered how many people would drive by that sign that are going through rough times. I wonder if there was a mother out there at her wits end and with her last dollar that would see the sign. Would it help her?

Right now, I sit in my warm home, I'm healthy, happy, I'm behind on a few bills, but I have an income, my husband is healthy and working, our sons are healthy and happy, and if God is willing, tonight we will be reunited as a family to have dinner together and enjoy our warm cozy, happy home.
  • I don't want to be so comfortable that I forget the needs of others.
  • I don't want to be so unattached to the reality of life that I forget some mother doesn't have milk for her baby.
  • I don't want to be so focused on my own life and goals that I forget a mother is facing foreclosure today.
  • I don't want to be so blog happy that all I do is blog about my happy family and forget the many mothers in need - some who many read this post.

Just as the media has influence and power, so does the Internet, and so does blogging. Have you ever thought about how your blog can make a difference by what you share? An encouraging word, spiritual guidance, a special giveaway, or even a good laugh or smile can make a difference.

It's sad, but many bloggers have another life behind their blog. Most bloggers share the happy home side, while less than few share the reality of their life.

News Flash! EVERYONE has an issue - even you. Everyone is going through something, so as we continue to blog from day to day, remember someone may stop by your blog needing something only your blog can offer.

I may not be able to change the world, but I can make a difference in my little corner of the world and so can my little blog. Let's make a difference today and share this post with someone in Blogland.

And remember, whatever you may be going through...Don't Give Up! The only way you lose is if you give up.

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Can You Help?

After yesterday's post on mothers needing to go back to work, I had to share a post I read of one mother being brave enough to share her present financial storm. Please visit Jackie's Magic to read her post, Unemployment Birthday Cake and leave her a comment of encouragement.

Wouldn't it be nice to offer her more than words? Just another reason to be blessed financially - to be able to help someone else.

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SAHMs Need To Go To Work

The economy is failing, your husband is doing the best he can, bills are overdue, and you're at home. it time to get a J.O.B.? I personally think a J.O.B. stands for just over broke, so I definitely don't want another job outside of what I'm already doing.

What about the home business you have? Avon, Amway, Primerica Ins., are just a few businesses I've been involved with and the one I still remain a distributor for is the life-saving, amazing Reliv business (just a small plug).

How about you? Medical Billing, Secret Shopper, Tupperware, Home Daycare... are they bringing in enough money to keep you from drowning in bills and debt? What about blogging? Are you trying to make money from blogging? There are more than a few women making money with their blogs, so why not? All of these opportunities may be helpful, but is it enough? Would you be willing to go back to work?
What about the mothers who homeschool? Hmmm...would I be willing to place my child in school and go to work to be that helpmate for my husband? I actually told my husband that he would have to get three jobs before I leave the house to go to work. I'm already helping him pay bills with my income, so I will encourage and support him from right here in front of this computer with my writing skills. Sound selfish? Oh well, like I said, I'm already helping him, but if we were facing foreclosure I might think about it. I know...I'm a little crazy, but I've got a little old school in me also - The man is the provider - supposed to be.

What about the moms already working? Would you be willing to get a second job to help your household? Single moms - oh my goodness, only God knows what you might be going through being the sole provider for your home.

I've met many mothers faced with this dilemma. What are your thoughts on this? Are you willing to go back to work or get a part-time job?

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