Slow Down!

Firstborn and I were standing in a self-checkout lane yesterday and although our line was shorter than others, it was moving extremely slow. The machines kept locking up, which meant customers were becoming agitated. I thought I was going to rush in and rush out, but NOT! 

The lady behind us was growing impatient and verbally trying to process the long wait. We even heard her say, “You gotta have patience.”  As soon as we got to the register, Firstborn said, “Slow down.” He didn’t want us to lock the machine up and be held up. I thanked him and we proceeded with our two items. 

Almost immediately, we heard an extremely loud bang that startled us and everyone around us.  We looked up and noticed the woman behind us had walked into an emergency exit door, shattered it, and fell out. 

We don’t know how badly she was hurt, but she wasn’t moving. We both stood in shock as store employees rushed to her assistance and called for help. We finished our checkout, without the machine locking up, and passed by the lady on the floor. The lady was in a hurry to go somewhere, but was going nowhere. Life is the same way. No matter how much we rush, everything happens in its own time and we have no control. We grow anxious for certain days to come and can’t wait for other days to pass by. We watch the clock, can’t wait for red lights to change, and look forward to uncomfortable seasons in our life to pass by – not knowing what’s ahead of us.  We’re only rushing our life away.  Aren’t they passing by quickly enough on their own? The lady behind us was obviously rushing; but her next few minutes in life weren’t worth the rush. 

For the love of life, slow down! What’s the hurry?

Did You Choose to Snooze?

  I befriended the snooze button this morning; I wasn’t feeling the “before the chickens” early rising. After pressing the snooze button twice, I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman and jumped up. I didn’t jump up because I wanted to be like her, I jumped up because I knew entertaining the snooze button would put me behind in my many Monday morning tasks and I would later regret it. 

When I finally got up and going, I remembered today is my oldest niece’s birthday; she’s fifteen years old today. I remember her being a butter ball baby and now she’s a lovely young lady wearing contact lenses that she begged a long time for. She even has an amazing singing voice that surprised the entire family because she’s always been so quiet. She barely talked and now she’s serenading us with notes we’ve never heard before. Her first fifteen years flew by and in another fifteen years, she’ll be thirty!

My niece’s first fifteen years of life invited thoughts of the snooze button of life. I can choose to snooze or I can relish in the quick minutes of life and use my time wisely. Procrastination can be haunting. If I bottled up all the time I’ve wasted or snoozed away, I probably wouldn’t believe it. 

Age has a way of reminding us of how quickly life goes by. If you don’t believe it, watch a child grow up. It’s unbelievable how quickly we grow up and grow old. Snooze? I don’t have enough time left in my life to choose to snooze! I need to get busy and seize every moment. I thank my sweet niece for this reminder of life and I pray she doesn’t choose to snooze her life away. 

 May this post be another reminder to seize the moments instead of snoozing them away.

Don't Get Too Comfortable!

Saturday, December 1st, was an extremely warm day in my city. We were able to put away our extra layers of clothing, get comfortable, and enjoy the summer-like weather. I had an amazing revelation with this beautiful weather. The same environment that I was enjoying is the same environment that I must protect myself from as the outside elements attempt to destroy my skin, my cells, and my overall health. Regardless of the temperature, I need to be aware of the elements and guard myself. My spiritual life is no different. Even when everything is going smoothly and my days are peaceful, I better not get too comfortable with my environment. I better stay covered in prayer and ensure my armour is intact as if I’m going through a storm. The weather is tricky and so is Miss Flesh. She will sneak up on me when I least expect her and it’s usually in my most comfortable, summer-like days when I put away that extra layer of clothing and get relaxed. Stay covered, laVender!

I was reminded to pray without ceasing and to watch and pray. I was also reminded how crafty and conniving the adversary is. Whether I notice it or not, there is always a struggle going on in my spiritual and natural life. A good example of this is a well- manicured lawn. We notice the beauty of it, but we’re clueless to the war going on beneath the surface. Bugs and so many different forms of insects are scuffling for food, space, and their life. They are protecting their young, seeking safety, and rebuilding what man continues to destroy. Isn’t that something? Our life is the same, so let’s go ahead and enjoy our peaceful, summer-like days, but let’s not forget to watch and pray! The temperature can change at any time.

My Job

Can I Be Real? I'm often asked where I work and what I do. I guess people find it unusual that I have so much time to volunteer at my sons' school. Well, THAT'S my job! I'm employed by Firstborn and Secondborn. These two young men were entrusted in my care and trust me, it's a FULL TIME JOB and exhausting, but it's the most rewarding job I've ever had and if I had to do it again, I would! Mothering is my first ministry. Payment? I get paid everyday...pure joy and satisfaction! I know it sounds strange, but I'm not here to be understood. I'm here to answer my calling.

Moment By Moment

Here it is again….another Monday! One good thing about this Monday is the new opportunity I have to react to unforeseen circumstances with an optimistic attitude. Just as sure as I am breathing, there are several traps set to attempt to ruin the day. Running late, a slow child, traffic, complainers, long red lights, an unexpected meeting, an email, or even a phone call may alter my mood.  I don’t even know which thoughts will pop into my mind to attempt to take me to a dark place I’d rather not go. 

One thing I know for sure is that the outcome of today is up to me. I can choose to get caught up in the moment with an ugly attitude or I can choose to allow the supernatural power of God to consume me - moment by moment. Every step I make and every breath I take is a reminder that I am not my own. I am alive this Monday to allow the majestic power of God to dwell within me and touch the lives of those around me. I am alive to have an attitude of gratitude.  I am alive to find the good and the God in all my circumstances. I am alive to have a heart and mind of thanksgiving for all God has done and will do in my life. I am alive to live! To live an abundant life of joy, peace, and happiness regardless of my circumstances! 

How am I supposed to keep this optimistic outlook? Moment by moment. Say it with me – moment by moment – moment by moment – moment by moment. Allowing God to have His way with us and through us, moment by moment, is the act of abiding and He promised to abide in us if we abide in Him – moment by moment. Happy Monday!

Brownies and Ice Cream

 I had an interesting conversation with a couple of women yesterday about exercise and diet. One was on a strict exercise regime, yet mentioned she ate what she wanted, yet exercised discipline with portion sizes. I put my two cents in and said, “Everything in moderation.” Later that evening, I had brownies and ice cream topped with Hershey’s syrup and the only thing in moderation was the happy dance my craving taste buds did. Did I have seconds? I sure did, and I ate it in moderation. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? 

Well, I looked up “everything in moderation” in the Bible and couldn’t find it. I saw the word moderation several times, but not as I used it. Whether it’s scripture or a cliché, I should want to do everything to please the Lord. The brownies and ice cream pleased my flesh, but the second serving didn’t please me, my temple, or God. It tasted delicious, but afterwards, I felt so full and miserable. I couldn’t even do my one hundred jumping jacks or dance that I so proudly mentioned to the women that I did on a regular basis. Hypocrite! 

Before you shake your head and judge me, don’t forget the juicy Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings are just a few days away and has your number. If you’re honest, you’ll admit to your own pig-out temptations and tendencies. I apologize for bringing this up during the most difficult season of the year to exercise moderation, but I didn’t want to be the only one convicted of my sometimes out of control eating habits. Aren’t you happy, I reminded you? It’s all in love – and moderation. 

Whether it’s turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, pound cake, or brownies and ice cream, remember your portion sizes and eat unto the Lord! God is always a guest at our table.

Mama Bear, Calm Down!


 As a mother, It hurts to see my children experience pain and disappointment, but I'm reminded daily that this is their journey and as they meet adversity, they are being molded and groomed into mighty men. Challenges build character. Pain empowers, and adversity reveals weaknesses and invites spiritual growth. Soooo, instead of trying to shield my babies, Mama Bear must SOMETIMES get out of the way and watch their purpose come to fruition.

Right One For The Job

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have spent a lot of time attempting to convince America they are the right man for the job. Besides a job interview, I can’t imagine having to convince anyone on such a large scale that I’m capable of doing anything. I choose to believe I was placed in every position/role I hold because my Heavenly Father created me with the qualifications to fulfill it. He also empowered me with the strength and endurance to handle the issues and people linked with my positions. I didn’t have to campaign; I had to commit. I didn’t have to belittle anyone else; I had to believe. I didn’t have to hope to be appointed; I was anointed. Think about it. If we allow God to be the Master of our life and order our steps, He has already planned our path for us.

I was hand-picked for the Momsweb ministry. Before I was formed in my mother’s womb, God knew I would write these weekly meditations. I didn’t have to apply; I had to be available. You were strategically designed to fill the seat you’re sitting in right now along with all the attitudes and personalities surrounding you. Funny isn’t it? Surely, God didn’t plan those challenges just for you! Oh yes He did! We are all equipped with everything we need to endure our positions. Even as wives and mothers, we were custom designed to nurture our distinctive home with our unique children and to help our special husbands. 

You couldn’t pay me to run for President of the United States. I wasn’t designed with the desire or the mental capability. I am the right woman for my job and you are the right woman for yours. Fill your position proudly and may God bless the United States of America!

Marriage Gets Easier

My husband was so excited yesterday to attend a class offered at church titled, The Measure of a Man. After eighteen years of marriage, now he wants to be educated on the measure of a man. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful, but where was this class when we were going through hell? We’ve taken quite a few marriage classes and even led the Couples’ Ministry at church. I’m here to tell you – hubby and I have the real deal marriage. We are complete opposites and we experience our share of ups, downs, arguments, seasons of bliss, and even entertained divorce. 

I had a thought last night – marriage is like wisdom…it doesn’t come until you’ve experienced all the bumps, bruises, and battles of life and by that time, you’re on your way out of the land of the living. Now that I’ve experienced some of those bumps and bruises, I know the early years of our marriage were only a test of our will to survive the marriage. The middle years of marriage were a test of our patience and longsuffering. The surviving years (where we are now) are continual pop tests of trusting God. I pray our final years will be…years of contentment? 

Marriage gets easier, but the bumps keep coming. Hubby’s eleven-week class is an overdue tune-up for our marriage. No tune-up, no marriage….and that’s NO JOKE. For those of you entertaining the thought of leaving your marriage or stuck in a season of staleness or suffering, don’t look at your husband’s face, your circumstances, or other couples faking the funk, but look to God. Unless you’re in an abusive relationship, stand strong through your seasons. It doesn’t matter what your situation is (I’ve experienced it all), God is real. Don’t walk out before you’re shown the measure of your man. 

Do your part and God will surely do His.  I’m a witness!

Our High School Senior Kicked Off Football Team

“Police officials identified your son.” When a parent hears a statement like this, the alarms are sounded and the world stops. Thankfully, our son wasn’t in an accident, but he was kicked off his high school football team – his senior year.
We immediately scheduled a meeting to find out the reason for Javan’s (aka Firstborn) dismissal from the team.  During the meeting, we were told #6 was identified as the ring leader and initiated a fight between his team and another area team one Friday evening. 

  Although several other players were present, only three players were kicked off the team. The punishment seemed a little severe, yet we respected the decision. We wanted to immediately defend our son, but when police officials identify your son what is there to defend? Not only was Javan identified by police officials, but we were told school officials and coaches from the other team identified him also. Wow….my husband and I were shocked. Maybe we didn’t know our son as well as we thought. In the meeting, I suggested to my husband that we get Javan tested for drugs. What we were hearing was completely out of character for him. 

 Javan has never been in a fight in his life, so to hear he initiated a fight with a football team was a big pill for us to swallow.  We know Javan gets extremely “in his zone” on game day. He wants to win and his ostentatious athlete mindset is in full force, but is this a crime? After his games, he is upset and doesn’t want to be bothered. With a 1-7 record, he should be use to losing, but he has a winning spirit and doesn’t give up. If I may, the one game the team has won....Javan made the first touchdown.
It’s important to mention the said “fight” never escalated into an actual physical fight, but was just a lot of trash talking between the two teams. Coaches from both teams broke the ruckus up – not one punch was ever thrown. 

One day, while sitting around discussing the incident with Javan, he mentioned not seeing police at the scene. My husband told him he was too busy talking trash to notice the police – we still believed the alarming statement of him being “identified” by police.

I couldn’t sleep or eat and was led to do my own investigation. I contacted the head coach from the other team plus police officials present at the game and no one was identified – NO ONE. The police weren’t even there! No one even knew which team started the trash talking! So, why was our son kicked off the football team?
My husband and I were outraged – downright pissed off.  Were we lied to or was this a big mistake? Surely they wouldn’t lie on our son, but would they lie on police officials? Regardless of any details, the bottom line is – our son was falsely accused. 

 We were also told our son’s behavior was another reason for him being kicked off the team. Okay, make up your mind; what’s the real reason he was kicked off? I attend the football practices quite frequently and the things our son was accused of seems to be the norm of over half the team. We won't even go there! Are we defending our son? You better believe it! What are we supposed to do? Let him be accused of something he didn’t do and pretend it didn’t happen? Sweep it under the rug? We’re sorry, but the wrong child has been accused. We wish we could say Javan was a perfect child, but we can't.  A typical teenager he is, but a trouble maker he is not. We couldn’t care less about Javan getting back on the team; we want only his name cleared from this vicious lie, which doesn’t seem to be important to anyone except us.  

 We refuse to defame anyone’s character by mentioning names. The reason for this blog post is because it’s what I do. I blog about my life and the sometimes crazy events that happen in my family. I was hesitant about sharing this, but I share everything else, so why not share this? My hesitation to blog about this was a red flag in my own character. Now is not the time to be quiet. It happened and those involved will answer to God just as my husband and I have to answer to how we handle this false accusation. We pray for direction, patience, peace, and wisdom. We even pray for the accusers. If we weren’t praying, we would have already called the local television station, newspaper, and a lawyer. Our son is off the team for no sound reason – he was falsely accused – period. Have we forgiven? We had to in order to be sane citizens and parents. We HAD to.   

This is not the end of the story. There is so much deceit going on behind this, our heads are spinning in disbelief. We’ll spare the details – clearing Javan’s name is our main concern. We hope this blog post will open the eyes of parents of athletes and to those athletes who have ever been mistreated or falsely accused, IT’S NOT OKAY. Flag on the play! 

Parents usually immediately defend their child when told of misbehavior, but we were careful not to do this and we made a mistake. Unfortunately, someone else made a mistake and accused the wrong child. Javan, we are sorry we doubted you. We know your character and we will stand by you and behind you to clear your name from this false accusation and all the fallacious statements attached to it.  Stay strong and keep your head up. You have done nothing to warrant being kicked off your football team. Remember, ALL things work together.   

We love you and God has your back!

Months later, I've turned my anger into advocacy. Read how here

Time for Change

While watching an interview with Steven Spielberg last night, he mentioned his usual action packed movies don’t excite him anymore, which explains his upcoming political movie on Abraham Lincoln. The same is with Tyler Perry. Mr. Perry is doing something completely different than what he’s known for; he was ready for change. The driving force for change within these two men overpowered their doubts and fears, which both admitted to having. 

I’ve spent my entire life, as most women do, making sure things are in place, in order, and on schedule; so as soon as a change of heart or mind comes up about something in my life, I begin to doubt whether it’s me or God’s leading. The only way to know His voice is to abide with Him through prayer and reading His Word. Because I have some major life decisions on my plate, I’m abiding like I’ve never done before and His voice is loud and clear. That deep driving force in the depths of my gut that just won’t go away is definitely my Father’s leading and now is not the time to listen to the voices of others. Whether the change is in residence, job/career, closure in relationships or initiating new relationships, we want to be submissive to the change – to God. To say no to change is saying no to God’s plan for our life! Debating and reasoning with God is dangerous.

I don’t believe in coincidence; and watching the Steven Spielberg and Tyler Perry interviews was right on time for me. Go for the change, laVender! Do you feel a sense of shifting in your life? What’s stopping you from moving forward with the change? Fear of the unknown, doubt, the opinions of others, or being comfortable with redundancy in your life? You only have one life, so let God direct you and embrace the change!

The Fight

 After sitting on my behind and watching football on television all day yesterday, it was hard to convince my body to get up and move; I needed to exercise. I’ve been exercising daily, but yesterday was a fight. My mind was exercising, but my body wasn’t budging. I saw myself stretching, doing jumping jacks, and aerobics, but I was actually still sitting down. I sat comfortably on the sofa laughing at the warfare going on in my body. Hubby was switching through the channels and briefly stopped at Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert rehearsal. Hearing a good beat was all I needed and before I knew it, I was up dancing with Michael. 

Watching MJ instruct and correct his crew on the set, showed what a perfectionist he was at his craft. I thought about my own craft. Do I spend enough time and effort with it to perfect it and become an expert at it? Even my writing style – am I giving it my all? Whether it’s making jewelry, designing clothes, cooking, sewing, counseling, singing, gardening, or even mothering and being a helpmate – we should be doing it well enough for others to know it’s our work - not just enough to get by.  I always wanted to be the best wife and mother ever, so if another woman had to take my place, she would never be able to fill my shoes. Look at MJ – no one will ever be able to fill his shoes. Most of us have the will to perfect our craft, but it’s always a fight with the flesh. There is always an excuse or reason to not move or excel. Can you imagine what would happen if we perfected our craft and did it unto the Lord? We’ll never know unless we get off the sofa and move!  Have a marvelous, moving Monday!

Strange Sunday

 The strangest thing happened to me Sunday morning. Football was heavily on my mind. Between the two boys, we have games every Thursday and Friday night, but I don’t wake up thinking about football every morning; Sunday morning was different. I prayed and praised God fervently trying to get football off my mind, but thoughts of practices, games, and preparing high carb meals and protein drinks arrested my attention. I was scheduled to share during the church school hour, so I needed my mind clear, but the thoughts wouldn’t leave. Finally, the worship service freed me from football and so did the church school hour.

Now, here is where the strange experience occurred. As I brought the church school class to a close, I looked to my right and saw football shoulder pads sitting in a chair as if they were attending the class. What in the world? I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because I had not noticed the pads during the entire class. I looked harder – they were definitely football shoulder pads – in the senior women’s class! Okay, Lord what does this mean – if anything? Maybe I was being led to pray and cover every aspect of my family’s football-filled life. Football was obviously on my mind for a reason and I ignored the soft voice; I actually tried to dismiss the thoughts!

I wondered how many other things God has placed on my mind to pray about, but instead chose to allow the thoughts to just linger and loiter in my mind. Just as God places a person on my mind, I need to pray for that person instead of simply thinking about them. God definitely guides me in my prayer life, but when I ignore Him, He still manages to get my attention… even if it means football shoulder pads in church school! Where are your thoughts today? If you're not sure how to pray in regards to the thoughts you're having, pray for wisdom in that area of your life and have a marvelous week!

Mornings Don't Mix

 It’s October and although that scary holiday doesn’t come until the end of the month, I endured a scary situation this morning. Secondborn was extra foul! I asked a few questions only to receive a nod or thumbs up for a response. Firstborn knows his brother well and said to me, “He and mornings don’t mix.”   We got out of the house without killing each other and stopped to pick up our morning commuter; he was foul also. Eeewww. I’m a morning person, so I chose to be quiet and allow them to bask in their own stuff.  I remember my previous pastor in San Diego saying that whatever time of the day we have breath in our body should be our time. In other words, if it is morning and we’re alive, we should be a morning person. If it’s late in the evening and we’re still breathing, we should be an evening person.  

 I’m far from having that 24/7 demeanor – especially when my telephone rings after nine o’clock in the evening. It’s a shame how ugly my face turns! As a said “Godly” woman, my attitude should be one of gratitude throughout the day. Regardless of the foul personalities around me and even foul circumstances I endure, I should practice maintaining expressions and conduct of someone with some sense! I know I’m human, but I have a supernatural power available to me at all times to hide me from my Self. I’m still learning to tap into that power when I feel Miss Flesh rising. She lingers like a bad aftertaste! When I decrease and allow God to increase in every situation throughout the day, I don’t appear to be moody or chemically imbalanced, which I am at least once a month. 

How about you? Are you a morning person, evening person, or a Godly person? Ouch!

Time Changes The Heart

  Those of you who’ve followed me for a while may recall how it was a challenge for me to sit for hours at the boys’ soccer, football, and basketball practices. I tried to be content while fighting my grumbling spirit and watching the clock. Some practices, I would sleep in the car hoping the time would fly by. Well, time has flown by and Firstborn is a senior now. It’s funny how time and age change the heart and mind because I no longer have to watch his practices, I want to! Life isn’t short at all; it’s actually quite long, but it goes by so fast. 

I’ve had sixteen long, hard, challenging, rewarding, joyful and sometimes painful years with Firstborn and in the blink of an eye, I’ll be in the winter season of my life. I want to look back over my life and have joyful memories. Even the challenging times in my life can be remembered with beneficial life lessons instead of nurturing anger about certain people or circumstances and allowing that anger to give birth to bitterness. I thank God for being a God of another chance! I have a ninth grader that I will be watching practice for the next four years. I can also begin today by being content with my life – even in situations I’d rather not be in. God gave me a joy and peace built to withstand whatever is going on around me – that unspeakable joy and that peace that surpasses human understanding. The trick is to tap into that joy and peace when I’m around those people who are being used to kill, steal, and destroy my joy. It’s not easy and it’s a process, but I’m a witness – it’s possible! Marriage, job, relationships, health, finances, children, and even the battles within our own mind can be conquered. Life goes by fast, so we better learn to enjoy the journey!

Counting Pennies

 On the way to worship service Sunday, I asked the boys if they had any money and they didn’t. Hubby wasn’t with us, so no one had money to give. I didn’t have a penny. I hate it when the offering plate goes around and no one has anything to offer. There is always some change in my purse, so I started digging for coins. I came up with several pennies, a safety pin, a mint, and some lint. I dug a little deeper and came up with a few silver coins and more pennies. I showed Firstborn my handful of coins and he shook his head and smiled. His head shake made me wonder if I should give my pennies or just throw them back in my purse. I could have written a check, but it would have immediately bounced in the usher’s face.

 I chuckled at the pressure I was putting on myself to give then recalled the Bible story of the poor widow who gave all she had, two mites. I’m not a widow, nor am I poor, but I sure have more month than money and the change I found was all I had. I whispered to Firstborn, “God doesn’t look at the amount, He looks at the heart.” Although I said that to Firstborn, I was really encouraging myself and making it okay to give my pennies. I may have more month than money, but God has always been my sufficiency – always and in ways I never expect. We have a refrigerator and cabinets full of food, a full gas tank, and money in the boys’ lunch accounts. The only thing I need is trust in God. As long as I keep my eyes on Him, I have everything I need. I may not have any more pennies to count, but when I count my blessings, they are plentiful!

Unmask Day

 I have a strong ability to read people.  This ability, talent, or gift of discernment is sometimes difficult because the older I get, the less tolerant I am of fake folk. Reality television overflows with various shows, but the only reality to truly exist is the one existing behind closed doors – where no one can see. THAT’S reality! There is one particular woman I know who appears to always be happy. She is always put together nicely with hair, make-up, and clothes. Her family appears portrait ready and when she speaks, it’s always a good report. Is this life possible? Not in the real world. I pray for this woman continually because she is always on my mind. This morning, she was extremely heavy on my mind – it must be difficult for her to get out of bed most mornings and put on her mask. I know because I use to wear the same mask and it is extremely heavy – it’s a burden. In my book, We Snap in Silence, I speak of how women wear masks for each other. We share the same challenges of being a woman, wife, and mother, yet we keep our emotions a secret instead of sharing and encouraging one another. Today is another day. Who will you be today? Who Christ created you to be or someone you created? We only have one life to live, so don’t miss yours by trying to be someone else. If you’re unhappy, reach out to someone. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, ask God to place someone in your path and give you peace about sharing. God didn’t promise us an easy life, but He did promise us peace and joy and He loves us just the way we are! If God can love me with all of my mess and failure to balance the many hats I wear (I juggle them), surely He can love you! Have a happy mask-free day!

Uncomfortable Ride

 We purchased new mattresses for the boys over the weekend and arranged for delivery. The store wanted almost a hundred dollars for delivery! They charged extra for a second mattress and box spring, which I thought was outrageous and refused to pay. Hubby said we could try to fit them in our small SUV - I was willing to try anything.  Hubby rolled the mattresses out to the parking lot with his “on a mission” face. I watched him work and sweat and within minutes, he had the inside and the top of the car packed and secure with the twin mattresses. 

We got in the car to go home and realized there was very little room for our long legs; we were practically kissing the dashboard. I had to sit sideways and if hubby was any bigger, the steering wheel would have left an imprint on his stomach. It was a funny sight, but I knew not to laugh – hubby still had on his work face. I silently snickered and laughed to myself until I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Just looking at hubby stuffed in the car and still trying to be cool was hilarious. I busted out laughing and couldn’t stop. He smiled and said, “You gotta go through some discomfort to get what you want.” As uncomfortable as he was, his reply to my outburst of laughter was profound.  Whether it’s our career, ministry, marriage, new endeavor, or even a diet…we have to endure some discomfort to reach our goal. In other words, we want God to bless us, but we’re afraid to come out of our comfort zone. With the money we saved, we purchased new bedding for the boys. Hubby’s hard work and uncomfortable ride home paid off. Life lesson – if we don’t endure a little discomfort on the journey, it may not be worth the trip.

Are You Ready?

I looked out the window this morning expecting to see windy, rainy conditions since school was canceled. We’re under hurricane warning, but the weather has been so beautiful, it’s hard to imagine imminent storm conditions.  There are a lot of people watching and praying this morning - maybe not for spiritual reasons, but watching and praying in regards to the hurricane and trailing tornadoes. Regardless of where the hurricane hits, most people will prepare – just in case. 

The direction of hurricanes are unpredictable, so preparation is the key. I thought about being under storm watch as it relates to my own life – my spiritual life. I never know where a storm may hit, but one thing is guaranteed – another storm will hit in some area of my life. The direction and intensity of my storms always changes and there is always a calm before the storm, which has the tendency to trick me and allow the storm to catch me off guard. Instead, I need to prepare and have my ear and eye gates guarded and secure. Every aspect of my life needs to be covered with prayer and I need to have my storm gear on and stay battle ready. Because of past storms in my life, I know to watch and pray. The storms never come like I expect them to, but my prediction is always accurate – another storm is definitely headed my way. Hurricane and tornado watches are necessary, but spiritual watches are necessary also; they should not be discounted. You may not live in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac, but your life is in a direct path of getting hit by a storm. Are you ready? If not, it’s time to prepare! Have a marvelous Monday and I now place you under storm watch; get ready!

You Got This?

I ended my evening last night with a cup of hot green tea with honey and ginger. The cup of tea not only ended my day, but my unbelievable week. Out of town appointments, out of town guests, meetings, playing nursemaid, writing deadlines, home repairs, and to top it off, the night before another school year was in full force.  Unfortunately, my normal day-to-day household affairs didn’t cease just because I had extra going on. Whew! As I submerged my tea bag in and out of the hot water, I remembered an email a friend forwarded to me a while ago. It referred to a woman being like a tea bag – you don’t know her strength until she’s in hot water. I felt like I had been submerged in hot water the entire week – especially the weekend. I don’t know how strong I am, but I’m still standing! 

While enjoying my tea, I thought about what the upcoming school year had in store – not for the boys, but for me (Miss Flesh being selfish). After about ten long seconds, I quickly changed my mental channel. I didn’t even want to think about it. Instead, I took another sip of my delicious green tea and said, “Lord, you got this, right?”  Although exhausted, strong emotions of gratefulness flowed through me. I thought about my Strong Tower to lean on, my Shepherd to guide me, my Prince of Peace, my Comforter, my Keeper! All of a sudden my fatigue turned to unspeakable joy. Changing my mental channel was the key. It doesn’t matter what’s in store for the family – I don’t have any control over it anyway, but I know who does! Women are strong – very strong, yet we easily become frustrated and fragile when we forget where our help comes from. Submerged in hot water? Just ask…Lord, you got this, right?

Where's The Milk?

Last night, I had a taste for a bowl of Raisin Bran. I finished exercising and thought cereal would be something light since it was 8:30 at night I looked forward to eating it in front of the television and watching something requiring no brain cells. I happily poured the cereal in one of my favorite bowls, got a spoon, and opened the refrigerator to get the milk. I didn’t see the milk. I yelled out, “Where’s the milk? The milk! Why is it when I get ready to eat something, it’s not here? Who drank the last of the milk?!” Firstborn quietly admitted he did, so I told him to at least take another gallon out of the freezer when he drinks the last of it. I acted like a baby wanting her bottle of milk. Without saying another word, I covered my bowl of cereal and placed it in the refrigerator. I walked into my bedroom to get ready for bed. I was…excuse my expression, but I was…pissed. 

I jumped in the shower and what did I do that for? The Holy Spirit immediately began chastising me for my behavior. With a kitchen full of food and more milk in the freezer, I was upset because I didn’t have milk. Okay, so I over reacted. I asked for forgiveness, but that wasn’t enough. I had to let the boys know my actions were wrong and how blessed we were to have a choice of what to eat plus some. I told them about the old saying, “Crying with a loaf of bread under your arm.”  I went to bed and realized I wasn’t hungry anyway…I just wanted to eat! This morning, when I opened the refrigerator and saw my cereal sitting there, I didn’t even want it anymore. I want oatmeal. It’s a blessing to have a choice! Stop crying for your milk!

Mothering improves with age...
                             grandmothers have proven that!

Honey Do Wires

Everyone in the house is good about washing their dishes when they finish eating except hubby. I don’t know if he has a maid hidden in the house somewhere or if he thinks I’m the maid, but he doesn’t have a problem eating and leaving his dirty dishes in the sink. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll wash them sometimes and I really don’t mind washing them for him, but it wasn’t until this morning that I figured out what triggers the “honey-do” wires in his brain. This morning, as I walked by the kitchen, I noticed hubby was washing his dishes! Hmmm…what is it? He had a difficult time getting to sleep last night, so I was really surprised to see his “honey-do” wires activated so early in the morning. After a couple of minutes, I walked back by the kitchen and hubby had washed his dishes and a few more! 

I really wanted to know what triggered those wires, so I could make sure they’re sparked as needed in the future. I walked into our bedroom and was suddenly reminded… I helped hubby get to sleep last night. Let’s just say his physical needs were fulfilled. Sex is what triggers my husband’s “honey-do” wires, and may be the trigger for your hubby too! I shook my head in disgust as I thought about how men are motivated by sex. Good grief, you can surprise me with a fish sandwich from McDonald’s or some sushi and I’m at hubby’s beckoned call, but nooo, I gotta sweat for hubby to go above and beyond the call of duty!  This wasn’t a revelation for me, but definitely a reminder – when sex talks, men listen.  So, when the honey-do list isn’t checked off, I just need to check myself! Husbands don’t want to hear us talk (nag), so let’s let sex do the talking – loud and clear!

Can I Be Real?

 I chuckle when I respond to emails regarding the meditations and new readers are surprised to hear back from me. Momsweb isn’t a major corporation with employees filtering and answering emails. I answer emails right from my home laptop – usually between washing dishes, laundry, writing, and dealing with two teenaged boys. When I first started Momsweb, over eleven years ago, with the help of a few loving, volunteer moms, I had no idea I’d be reaching women from coast to coast, writing books, and I especially didn’t think I’d receive invitations to speak! Did I plan this? Absolutely not – I didn’t have a business plan, but I had a passion. My passion was simple – to help women, wives, and mothers in the daily challenges of life.  It’s no secret; I struggle with all three of these roles – daily.  I’ve been called to openly share my marital mess, my snap scenarios as a mother, and the challenge to not lose my SELF as a woman. 

Just because I love and live for Jesus doesn’t mean I don’t struggle walking with Him. What’s important is that I share my struggles and how I recognize the power of God within my struggles. This is my charge – to share myself, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows – to be real. Betty Winters, a very wise woman, wife, and mother who has several beneficial words on the Momsweb site, has  penned a phrase I now use – look into my life and learn from it.  I adopted her words as my mantra. It’s my reminder to be real.  How can you learn from my life if I give you a false impression?  Sometimes I hesitate to share my mess, but I’m reminded about my passion to help. It’s not about me, but about God using my mess to bless.  Have a REAL good Monday!

Twisted and Tired

  I would consider myself a twisted woman if it wasn't for my hormones reminding me I'm only twisted once a month instead of 365 days out of the year. Not only do I feel twisted, but I'm tired as a dirty dish rag - no life! Thank God for energy foods and if I can just fight this craving for junk food and chocolate! How am I supposed to make the right food decisions during my twisted time of the month? Hmmm...I pick chocolate!  Womanhood...only the STRONG survive!