Out of the Mouth of Babes

Five year old, Taylor, from Alabama asked her mom for
a pen and paper in church and this is what she wrote.

Can you read her message?

You're So Sweet!

I cracked up this morning while speaking to a friend about a few things and she said to me, "You're so sweet!" Why did I laugh? Well, I know myself.

She didn't know how I struggled early this morning with my mental mess of grumbling, mumbling, and complaining about trivial matters in my home.

She didn't know I had to fight ugly thoughts about my husband because he didn't wash dishes before he left the house.

She didn't know I fought the spirit of laziness - it's Friday!

She didn't know I struggled with being Christ Controlled before I got out of bed.

I'm laughing now as I think about her comment. I just have one thing to say, "Thank God for Jesus."

My prayer EVERY morning is that God will hide me from myself and fill me with His love, His compassion, His patience, His understanding, His views, His thoughts, and His ways.

Hey, it works for me because people think I'm SO SWEET!

What About Them?

It's almost midnight as I sit here at my computer feeling blessed that my day is finally coming to an end. I have poured out my last drop and have nothing else to give. It's time for rest and renewal.

My thoughts went to the many blogs and websites available and full of encouragement for tired, weary mothers. It's a blessing to let my fingers click a few keys and be opened to a world of encouragement and revival.

Wait a minute. What about the mothers without this convenience of renewal and support?

What about the mothers unable to afford a computer or Internet service?

What about the victims of domestic violence under the hands of controlling partners not allowing them to enjoy Internet conversations and connections with a possible support system?

What about the the mothers in rural areas where an Internet service isn't even available?

What about the mother that can't read? What about these mothers?

I thank God for bringing these mothers to my attention - again. I said a prayer for them since that's about all I can do at midnight. They sure can't benefit from my thoughts or a possible typed word of encouragement. Am I preaching to the choir? Have I forgotten about a network of mothers outside of my comfort circle?

One of my most favorite songs by Yolanda Adams has been placed on the site to remind me to pray for the mothers without the convenience of this instant support and encouragement I benefit from. Have mercy, Lord.

It's All About Giving

Monica Jordan, winner of Extreme Home Edition Makeover, didn't have much, but ALWAYS gave what she had.

She opened her home and gave her love and time to her family, her community, and allowed God to use her right where she was.

She is an example of being an empty vessel willing to be used.

Please view the below links and share Monica's blessings.

Give and it shall be given

Family Comes Home

Give and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

Be Encouraged!

I have quite a few friends battling with weight and each, in their own way, has made it a priority to strive for a healthier lifestyle. Although I don’t share the same struggle, I do struggle to exercise daily or my blood pressure will go through the roof. It’s only by the grace of God that I get off my butt each evening or morning and move my bones to get my heart rate moving at a pace to make a difference in my health. It would be robbery to have anyone think I exercise just because I enjoy it or because I’m so obedient in regards to caring for my temple. No, that’s not the case; exercise is a necessity for my life.

Many of us silently struggle with the depth of frustration of weight or some other physical or character flaw, while a few others choose to boldly share and seek support. We’re often embarrassed of mistakes or bad choices, but doesn’t everyone make mistakes? We don’t want to disclose our mess, but what can we learn from a flawless woman or a seemingly perfect mother? Isn't this what life is all about? Learning from one another?

My dear friend, Sandy, is on a quest to lose weight and develop a healthier lifestyle. She recently posted a full body picture of herself on her blog for all to see and also shared her actual weight. She has opened her weight loss journey for others to follow. Not only is she encouraging others through her selfless act, but she was a reminder to me of the power of my testimony. My trials and triumphs are not for my own gratification. Sharing my storms may be another’s strength. Whatever your quest is, whatever trial you are in the midst of, or whatever your struggle is, remember it’s not always about you. Be led to share your story and bless someone else!

Drop in on Sandy's journey and be encouraged. Feel free to leave her a comment of encouragement as she encourages us to share our mess!

Click here to visit Sandy

2 Corinthians 7:13 (NIV)

By all this we are encouraged.

Peace Robbers

As a mother who shares the power of keeping our PEACE of mind in the midst of our challenging days, I am faced with new peace robbers everyday. I guess I can call them stresses, issues, or even battles. Whatever they're called, I'm tested daily, throughout the day. These continual tests are teaching me the power of walking away and being Christ-controlled in the midst of the test.

As a homeschooling family, I allow the boys to do their school work wherever they are comfortable - kitchen, living room, reading room, outside, etc... Well, this morning I walked in first-born's room to check on his progress and he's in the bed - yes, in the bed UNDER the cover with his books! He was also listening to irritating Rap Music. This did not rub military mama the right way.

Hmm...do I go off on him and tell him to get out of bed, turn the music off, and concentrate on his studies or do I walk away? What would you have done?

Well, after we exchanged a very long, silent stare at each other, I turned and walked away. This was one of those peace robbers I chose not to give into. Later today, I'll address his homework posture and let him know it's not acceptable (not for me). I understand he's a teenager and his growing body requires more rest, but there is a time for everything. If he were in school, he sure wouldn't be on his assigned cot with a blanket! At least not in the 8th grade!

So you see, at the moment, I chose NOT to disturb MY PEACE, but walk away from it and address it later when I'm better equipped- mentally. Son, today....just get your homework done.

A GOOD Thing

One of the best things a mother can give her children is an example of being a good wife. Our young boys and girls benefit greatly by watching their mother interact with their father.

The Word says when a man finds a wife, he finds a GOOD thing. Am I my man's good thing? Have I always been my man's good thing? Am I supportive and loving? Do I encourage and uplift? Am I forgiving and understanding? If I died and my husband remarried, would that woman have a hard time filling my shoes?

Today is my 15 year wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I'm more in love today than I ever was. Has it always been this way? Absolutely not! We've had some rough years and it's only by the grace of God that we celebrate this day today. Marriage is a job and if you don't put in some overtime, the marriage suffers. The trials and struggles in my marriage have helped me become that GOOD thing.

Being my husband's GOOD thing is...

  • Loving him through his unlovable moments
  • Removing all expectations from him
  • Accepting him in spite of his faults and shortcomings
  • Being there for him in good times and bad times
  • Being faithful
  • Serving him in humility
  • Being extraordinary obedient to God
  • Realizing our marriage belongs to God
  • Allowing God to mold, prune, and groom me into the wife my husband needs and desires

Celebrate your marriage today and everyday and be your husband's GOOD thing

Late For Work

I was running a little late for work this morning. I was up early as usual, yet tried to fit a little more into less time. I hate to be late for work because I waste more time playing catch up. Yes, I homeschool two sons and run a home business, but I treat my role and responsibilities as if I had a job outside the house.

It's easy to fall into complacency and laziness when no one is holding you accountable for performance. Well, thank God for Jesus! He's my boss, so I do my best to be on time and keep good work ethics. Timeliness is a character trait I struggle with. I probably have more done by 7 a.m. than a lot of people, but only if I rise early and use God's time wisely. Keeping a schedule hardly ever works, but respecting my role as if I had an outside job helps so much. Even answering the phone can put a wrench in the day, so personal calls are monitored and kept to a minimum as if I were sitting at a desk. I wouldn't watch television on my job, so it doesn't come on until well in the afternoon.

Respecting my role also helps others respect my role - especially those who consider me to be 'just' a Mother. Don't hate...I'm just doing what I've been called to do! I'd love to chat more, but I have a job to do!

And the Winner is....

Words can't express how happy I am for Monica and her family for winning the Extreme Home Makeover. I feel as if I've won a home makeover myself! Yippeeee!

View the story and pictures to the left and share the joy! It's so different when you actually know the person.

Monica is from my hometown and neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama and is a supporter of MOMSWEB. She was also a guest speaker at the MW Revival of Interest held in Montgomery in 2004.

Congratulations, Monica!

Hear My Prayer!

At ages thirteen and ten, I still awake up in the middle of the night to check on my sons. At 2 a.m. this morning, I watched them both peacefully breathe. I noticed first-born's feet meeting the end of the bed and second-born isn't far behind. My mind traveled back to their crib days. Where are my baby boys? What happened to the time? As I stood there, God led me to pray. As a mother, prayer is my most precious tool; I'd be lost without it. When my boys get tired of me talking, I can always talk to Jesus. When they don't follow my guidance, God gives me new direction. When I'm tired of being tried, God shows me mercy. Being a Mother is my greatest joy, yet it is also my greatest challenge. The many stages and seasons children go through have the ability to wear me down, but prayer has the ability to hold me up! I know my days are numbered with my children; our relationship is temporary. My trying times and melt-down moments will pass, but so will the good times. Knowing this, each day I try to create a joyful memory, a lasting lesson, and have purposeful prayer. As I walked back to bed, I remembered the boys will soon wake up and the house won't be as peaceful as it was at 2 a.m., but with prayer, this Mama will have perfect peace within and another marvelous Monday in Motherhood!

Psalm 143:1 (NIV)
O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

How Do You Do It?

I'm often asked how I manage to do everything I do. I don't even think about it until I'm asked; I just go with the flow from day to day and... do what I do. I don't think the list of hats I wear is any longer than the next mother's list. We are all mothers. Most of us are wives. Many of us have a business (or two) on the side. We all have a hobby or interests we enjoy. Many of us have siblings, and some of us have living parents. Those of us who are church-goers probably have more than one ministry we're involved in or even lead. Besides those necessity hats, we occasionally don a few others.

I must admit, there are days I'm amazed at what God allows me to accomplish. It's only through His grace that I have the mental and physical capability to do what I do. Whenever I awake and hit the floor running without plugging into my true power source, my day goes right down the drain - leaving me physically and emotionally drained, but when I allow Him to order my steps, my days are unbelievably productive - not perfect, but productive. This year, I made a decision to be fruitful instead of busy. I know only what I do for Christ will last, so why waste my time on things that will not flourish and benefit God's kingdom?

A raggedy temple cannot perform at it's optimum level, so I try to keep my physical body conditioned for my many callings. I try to exercise daily and drink lots of water. Green tea, apples, and my soy shakes are my secret weapons to fight fatigue. God has entrusted me with this body, so I must do my part. Regardless of what I do, I dare not take any credit for the productivity in my life. When God puts his super on our well-kept natural, there is no stopping us as women, wives, and mothers. He is waiting to fill us with his creative spirit, wisdom, and knowledge to complete only what He has called us to do!

Exodus 31:3 (NIV)

...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-

Poured Out

My morning devotion referred to my life being 'poured out' and used sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others. I related this to my home - my family, which is my first ministry. I often allow loads of laundry and piles of dishes to distract me of what's important - nurturing my children and teaching them the character of Christ. How can I teach the character of Christ while I'm silently mumbling about household duties? I thank God for my morning 'life lessons' with Him. I thank God for loving me enough to pull me back in line when I stray. I thank God for reminding me of just how important my role as a Mother is. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to be better than yesterday.

Question of the day - Am I able to do menial work while maintaining a saintly attitude?

Do You Teach?

I believe a mother is a child's first teacher and regardless of the child's age, the day is full of life lesson opportunities. Although I try to take advantage of each one, there are many missed moments. If I did take advantage of them, I'd be talking all day! I came across the below quote, which is a great teaching tool.

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

William Arthur Ward

I guess a combination of them all would equal to a Mother!

The Good Parent

My pastor made a comment yesterday about ‘good’ parenting which led me to evaluate my parenting skills. He made his comment after one of the High School Seniors gave a brief presentation during service. This student is very talented, smart, and respectful. While my pastor acknowledged the parents of this young man, a few questions came to mind. What is ‘good’ parenting and who sets the standard for it? Which parents would I choose to emulate? Where do I stand on the ‘good’ parenting scale? I later thought of some of the other students in my church family and the love and time their parents have obviously poured into them. It’s ironic that my husband and I were recently talking about this very subject. ‘Good’ parents? I’m not sure if we fit the mold, but we are parents that love God and the children He has entrusted in our care. If our boys have any qualities resulting from ‘good’ parenting, it’s definitely because of God’s grace – not us. I guess I answered my own questions. Good parenting is Godly parenting and God has set the standard – He is my example. Where do I stand? God is my judge and I will have to stand before Him and give account for my role as a parent. Motherhood is my first ministry - everything else is secondary.

This first Monday of February, I have a fresh anointing. I will embrace the privilege and honor of being a parent for two of God’s children. Yes, I will continue to have challenging and trying days, but knowing God is in control lightens my load. I am just a vessel allowing God to raise His children through me. Yes, I speak with confidence and boldness - the boys are still sleeping (smile). When they awake, I plan to have a marvelous Monday in Motherhood. Let us all have a joyful day in Motherhood!

Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

When I Grow Up...

My ten-year old baked his first cake tonight. It was dessert for our family's Super Bowl Party and he was so proud of himself. He loves to cook and has been saying he's going to be a chef and own his own restaurant one day.

My desire is for him to sing; he has a powerful voice he refuses to share in public. I'm sure his Father wants him to excel in sports, but what we want for his life doesn't matter. God's will shall be done and our job as his parents is to nurture him in the Lord, so he will one day know to seek God for direction for his life.

Hmmm...so far, he's wanted to be a fisherman, a musician, a chef, and he enjoys sports. Hey, how about a singing chef? Okay, okay...have your way, Lord!

By the way, the cake was delicious! It was chocolate, which is my favorite and although the party was family only, it's half gone!